Autistic Children

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Many years ago when I was seven years old, I watched my cousin Christopher rock back and forth as he worked a crossword puzzle. I tried to distract him from working the puzzle to ride bikes with me. I continuously asked him to play with me, but he kept staring at the puzzle while I attempted to look in his eyes. Next thing I know he had tore the puzzle apart and threw the pieces in the air, one at a time. He did not speak, but he made crying noises. The more I asked questions or talked to him, the louder his cries became. As his frustration grew, he balled his fists up, punched his eyes, and kicked his feet. I was curious about his activity. I later asked my mom why Christopher was behaving that way, my mom then told me that my cousin was autistic.
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD, is commonly found in early childhood and characterized by a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees (National Health Society Council, 2012). This is a disease that has a major impact upon the family of the child with this disorder, which include emotional, functional, social, financial, and many more factors that are being discovered daily. The precise cause of Autism is not known however, researchers have been and still are examining the genetic and environmental causes. The above example shows only a few examples of autistic behavior. However this paper will be focusing mainly on the emotional effects on the parents of a child with ASD, the emotional and social effect on siblings of a child with ASD, and the adaption and coping strategies the family can take to help become a closer, stronger, and more cohesive family, with time.
Raising a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be extremely stressful for parents. A Parent will never be prepared to hear the diagnosis of autism in their



References: National Health Society Council. (2012). The autism society. Retrieved from http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/ NICHCY. (2003). Parenting a child with special needs. (3rd ed., Vol. 20). Washington, DC: National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities. DOI: nichcy.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/nd20.pdf Wagner, K. (2012, November 21). Interview by S Ford [Personal Interview]. Autism

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