"Autism is what I have...not who I am"-                                           Joshua Hines

"Autism currently is diagnosed in 1:54 individuals in the United States today.  This diagnosis presents in varied degrees of deficits or delays in social skill development, verbal/nonverbal communication and narrow fields of interest.

Red flags include (but are not limited to):

  • Repetitive movements (e.g.) Rocking, spinning, hand-flapping, humming.

  • Preoccupation with certain objects or activities (e.g. dinosaurs, trains).

  • Difficulty making or sustaining eye contact.

  • Delayed/absent speech, or repetition of words or phrases.

  • Insistence on sameness in routine (e.g. must eat out of same bowl).

  • Adherence to patterns (e.g. lining up toys instead of playing with them).

  • Playing along side peers but not engaging them (parallel play).

  • Difficulty with change in routine (e.g. has to do things in the same way, or behaviors such as screaming, crying, tantrum, self-injurious behavior or aggression are elicited and can be prolonged until routine is restored.

Autism is diagnosed globally around the world, in every population and does not discriminate to race, sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.  Cultural inhibitors to early diagnosis of individuals on the African diaspora include normalization of behaviors that others may view as socially unacceptable or threatening. It is important that we educate our families, communities and networks as if the child's life depends upon it.  Early diagnosis and intervention can only be successful when the individual's community is supporting long term goals.  Educating to overcome social stigma, systemic mistrust of systems of delivery as well as cultural beliefs is imperative if our children are going to realize successful outcomes. It is important that stakeholders for every individual on the autism spectrum; families, community, peers, educators and systems of delivery take their place at the table to support this effort"

Jacqueline Williams-Hines, M Ed, Autism Specialist  

Differently abled...

Autism is a spectrum disorder which can look very different from one individual to the next. Families often experience fear, guilt, and denial  when suspecting a diagnosis in their child.  I know, I didn't want to accept that my son was developmentally delayed and tried to normalize it away.  The aftermath of his diagnosis was a grieving process that I tried desperately to avoid.  Not grieving the loss of my child, but the loss of a life that made sense to me. Thrust into a world of appointments, therapies and questions I felt overwhelmed, like a frightened deer caught in headlights. In order to support his growth and development I had to focus on his needs by educating myself. There is no one answer. No Small Victories products can help you begin that often difficult conversation with family members, and offer products that allow you to show your support!  

No Small Victories - Jacqueline Joshua

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