Apr 20, 2010 1:12pm
April is Autism Awareness Month. Type the word autism into the search on ProduceTheDoctors.com and you’ll find pages and pages of entries, like from rukky, ranabashour, danielsmom and amanda_c_jordan. It’s not surprising, because about 1 in every 100 children is diagnosed with autism. The statistics range from 1 in 91 children to 1 in 110 children, but if you’re a parent, hearing the words, “Your child has autism spectrum disorder,” it’s one too many!
I combed through several books, countless articles, and probably single-handedly destroyed a forest with the four-inch thick binder of research my team compiled for this show. As a producer, it was a daunting task. As a mother, I couldn’t help but think, what if I had to decipher this while dealing with the recognition that something’s not right with my baby, and all of those emotions? It would feel completely overwhelming.
So I set out to create a show that gives you the tools and information you need to stand in the face of any diagnosis with confidence. By the end of the hour, you will know more and feel less afraid. We will cover it all — from breaking the news to family and friends, to finding treatments that really work to figuring out ways to pay for therapy. Find out the six warning signs every parent needs to know to catch autism early! Learn how early intervention can help change your child's IQ. Discover if a brain scan can detect autism! Watch how a simple phone application can help your non-verbal child communicate! Through it all, you’ll hear stories of honesty and hope from the parents who’ve been there, including actress Holly Robinson Peete and retired NFL quarterback Rodney Peete.
If, by chance, you’re one of the few people who doesn’t know someone dealing with autism, trust me, you’ll benefit from this hour, too. Award-winning attorney and author Areva Martin shares principles from her book The Everyday Advocate that will help you understand your rights as a patient, get a second opinion when you need one and stand up for your health!
I could have easily produced a mini-series … but for now, we’ve limited ourselves to one episode. Tell your friends and tune-in Friday, April 23 for this important hour. Be sure to visit www.thedoctorstv.com then click on the show page for a thorough list of additional resources.
When the Peetes recount the heartbreaking day their son, RJ, was diagnosed with autism, they call it “The Never Day,” because their doctor rattled off a list of “He’ll never …” statements that seemed to never end. What they’ve learned in the nine years since that day is how to break free from the “never”… I hope you will, too.