Imagine taking your four-year-old child to a nearby park. Other families greet your child, but there’s no response. Then, when it’s time to leave, your child says goodbye, but more so to the tables, and trees, and playground equipment than to the people.

Author Julie Homok described her baby girl Lizzie as happy, engaged, and developing normally. Then one day she started crawling into walls. What at first seemed like a funny accident became a disheartening realization that Lizzie was losing touch with the world around her.

She was soon diagnosed with autism and developed many challenging symptoms, including:

  • Tantrums
  • Loss of language
  • Waking up screaming each night
  • Banging her head on the floor
  • Lining up random items
  • Opening and closing cabinet doors
  • Flapping her arms
  • Isolating from loved ones

Autism is a spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with speech, social skills, repetitive behaviors, and nonverbal communication.

Each person has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think, and problem-solve may range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD require significant support in their daily lives. Others may need less support or, in some cases, live independently.

If you or someone you know has a child with autism, I encourage you to join me on the Focus on the