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Facing autism in East Texas, families share their experience

Facing autism in East Texas, families share their experience

POSTED: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 9:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 2:34pm

We recently brought you a special report: Facing Autism, providing help for east texas families from programs and options. Since then, many families have reached out wanting to share their story from the beginning to where they are now.

We were invited to therapy sessions on Monday to see how these East Texas families are facing autism. Two-year-old William's favorite thing to do is to line up anything he finds interesting. The White family of Tyler knew something was different about their son from the moment he was born.

"His lack of communication, he's non-verbal, he doesn't to eat many different things and noises bothered him," said Jonathan White of Tyler, son is autistic.  He adds, the pediatrician went into our concerns and addressed them and at that point in time he recommended Julee Renfroe at the Autism Network.

A place that provides options for families in East Texas from diagnosis to treatment. "Coordinated all the doctors, psychologist, psychiatrists two different kinds of therapists," said Weiner.

At 17 months William was diagnosed with autism and was referred to Innovative Therapy Group in Tyler. That's where the Weiner family of athens also brings their two year old autistic son Wesley.

"Absolutely a Godsend, its been wonderful, Leanne, sometimes people come into your life at the right time," said Haley Weiner of Athens, her son is autistic.

Both families tell us their prayers were answered, Weiner says she's seen a ton of progression and that's evident by every expression.

"It's exciting to see him do new things and saying new words and makes it feel like coming to therapy is worth it worth our time," said Weiner.

"Getting a diagnosis, getting a prescription for therapy, starting therapy and the earlier intervention the better," said White.

"If you can't communicate for a long period of time you're going to continue to use behaviors to communicate." said Leighann Cook, Speech Language Pathologist, Innovative Therapy Group in Tyler.

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We need to ask ourselves why all the stories about autism are about CHILDREN. Why is the rate--currently one in every 68 U.S. children--always based on studies of eight year olds, not eighty year olds? We're told here about a child who is "non-verbal." Incredibly, 25 percent of children with autism are classified as "non-verbal." Considering the rate of autism, that's a lot of children who are not able to adequately communicate. WHERE ARE THE ADULTS LIKE THIS?

It needs to be recognized t

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