Raising children is a huge undertaking, a lifelong journey that you and your husband or wife go on together. During that journey, you hope for your kids to be happy, healthy and successful in life. For parents of children on the autism spectrum, these fears are stronger than most others. Children with autism can have a hard time communicating their needs, which can make keeping them happy and healthy a difficult task.
When Briana Blankenship first learned that her daughter Taylor was diagnosed with autism, she was shocked. But soon she learned how best to parent her daughter and everything was going smoothly – except Taylor had never said a word.
Some children with autism are non-verbal and communicate mostly through sign-language and specialized symbol technology devices. When they are younger, doctors can’t really predict whether their non-verbal nature will continue into adulthood.
Taylor hadn’t spoken by her fifth birthday, so Briana was used to her non-verbal nature. Until one day in a McDonald’s parking lot when everything changed in a single moment.
“I am ugly crying in the McDonald’s parking lot and the employees probably think I’m crazy. In the drive-thru, I suddenly heard Taylor say, ‘MAMA,'” she posted shortly after the incident.
This was a stunning revelation for the veteran mother and she understandably needed a few minutes to gather herself.
“For those of you that don’t know, Taylor is five and is nonverbal autistic. She has NEVER said a word. EVER,” the happy post continued.
Brianna never thought that her daughter would ever speak, but this shows that you should never give up hope. Taylor may have autism, but with the proper education and care she will surely grow up to be a productive woman.
The increasing trend in autism diagnoses in recent years has been explained in a number of different ways. Some say that vaccines can cause it, but there has been no scientific evidence or study that conclusively connects the two.
Others discuss how it is being diagnosed more because it is now understood more clearly, and doctors can subsequently diagnosis it in more patients. In the past, autism may have been construed as any number of other mental health issues.
Studies have shown an interesting correlation in autism diagnoses with identical twins. If one twin is diagnosed with ASD, there is a 36-95% chance of the other being diagnosed as well. If the twins aren’t identical, that number drops to 0-31% of the time.
This indicates that autism arises in the genes, but the results are definitely going to need more study. A greater understanding of our genetic makeup will help with determining the source of autism, as well as a host of other DNA-based issues.
But you should also be careful with these new DNA-based testing methods. Some of the companies that offer to tell you exactly what ethnicity your ancestors actually keep a far greater range of genetic data. Do your research before giving away or even paying to give a company your entire genetic makeup.
Check out the video below to see this happy occasion for yourself and share the love!