FORT STEWART, Ga. - Dear Frontline Readers:
Since this is Autism awareness month, I wanted to share a little information on understanding a child diagnosed with autism.

Understanding and patience is better than whipping your child or demanding a time out.

Autistic children are often misunderstood and at times we don't have the slightest idea of what they are thinking or feeling.

We as healthy, well, able people should have a little more patience with them. Each day autistic children battle many obstacles and endure being laughed at and humiliated does not help.

Things that we tend to tune out, like loud noises and crowds, an autistic child cannot. Sometimes loud noises to them are like a whistle put directly to their ears and blown. Crowds and movement can cause confusion and as a result they want to run and get away it to feel more secure and calm.

Now imagine that you want to call for help. You open your mouth, and if you are really, really lucky, some sound will come out, but no words, because you can't speak!! Throughout the meltdowns (not tantrums), our children have unconditional love that we should have for each other, but don't.

There are a lot of things that we can learn from a person with autism only if we take time to understand. Daily plans change quickly because we don't know what each day will bring.

Just as God made us, he made autistic children and they are just as valuable as any one of us.

This is Autism Awareness Month but autism awareness is every day because it does not stop.

If you don't know much about autism, ask someone who loves that very special person living with Autism.

We live, breath and dream Autism. There is no escaping but it is a world that we are blessed to share with them.

These are some of the characteristics of autism:

Aca,!Ac Inappropriate laughing, giggling
Aca,!Ac Insensitivity to pain (hurt themselves without crying )
Aca,!Ac May not want to be cuddled
Aca,!Ac May avoid eye contact
Aca,!Ac May prefer to be alone
Aca,!Ac Inappropriate attachments to objects
Aca,!Ac Insistence of sameness (foods, toys, etc)
Aca,!Ac Spends objects or self
Aca,!Ac Repeat words or phrases

The earlier autism is diagnosed and treated, the better the outlook for your child. You can't wish it away or try to avoid it, so please if you notice any of these symptoms, get your child screened.