I read an article this morning (August 11, 2018) about two women working to open an Autism “treatment” center. The center, called BEYOND A SPECTRUM, is slated to open on September 4th of this year. The women, Jessica Dekle and Tracy Regard, have been working for over a year to get this up and running. According to the article, “The center’s name refers to “the spectrum” of autistic disorders, which range from the high-functioning formerly called Asperger’s Syndrome to the profound who are non-verbal and sometimes self-harming.” I can sorta, kinda get behind this. I attend an agency similar to what this sounds like in Baltimore. I can appreciate what these women are trying to do.
Having said that, I disagree with the wording they used. The article uses the word “Concern” to describe Autism. I am not concerned about my Autism. I am content with it. I see where they are coming from but I do not feel “concern” is the right word. “Affect” might be the right word here. But again, I am only talking from personal experience. I know people who are severely impacted that might need all the help they and their families can get. I understand that. But as I stated, I am happy where I am now.
Louisiana does not have a facility like this and I am all for it. The more supports we can get people with Autism, the better. Obviously not all symptoms are the same. So I think these women will definitely have their work cut out for them. According to the article, “Regard said treatment of autism begins by “changing the way we talk about it. We do not say ‘an autistic child,’ but rather ‘a child with autism.’
“Autism is part of the child, but it should not define who he is.”
Regard said there is definitely a need for services to treat autism in this area.
“National statistics show one out of 59 children have some form of autism,” she said. “In Avoyelles, I believe it is under-diagnosed and under-served.”
I agree. The statistics part is true. I also think Tracy Regard hit the nail on the head when she said, “We do not say ‘Autistic child’ but rather ‘Child with Autism'”. The one thing for me is transitioning. What happens when the children they are trying to help become adults? What will happen then? Are they cut off from the program or will they continue to be served? Either way Autism is a life-long diagnosis. I hope these women do well and I wish them luck.
I have attached a copy of the article so you can read it for yourselves. Per usual, let me know what you think and feel free to weigh in. Thanks!