Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2019

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n March 2019 little boy he was this morning. Now he just has a diagnosis. A diagnosis can give you direction for how best to help him." Wow, that gave me my breath back. Peter was still the same little boy. The one who clapped his hands over his ears and often looked overwhelmed by the world around him. The one with three huge dimples that flashed as he smiled. Now I could begin to make his life more comfortable and manageable and see those dimples even more. 12 More Things to Know 1. Learning never stops. When I By PATRICE E. ATHANASIDY I remember when my son, who is now almost 18, was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The neurologist told me he had Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. It was like one of those moments in a movie - the person receiving news is suddenly unable to hear anything but a very loud heart pumping. When I arrived home, I called my parents. My dad, who spent his career as a pediatric social worker, told me something I have told others over the years."Peter is the same first began exploring autism spectrum disorders, there was a great deal of emphasis on the first five years and the plasticity of the brain. It made me feel like I had to cram in all of Peter's therapies and learning before his brain's plasticity was gone. Now, long past five years old, Peter continues to change and grow. 2. Other parents are an amazing resource. I am fortunate to have a wonderful group of parents willing to talk with me as I explore each stage of Peter's life with him. Some have children who have already gone through school. Some have children with sensory issues like Patrice (right) reminisces on the things she wishes she knew while raising her son Peter (left). Even though raising a child with autism came with unexpected challenges, Patrice celebrates every small victory with Peter. 13 things to know before your child with autism turns 13 Lessons from a mother of a child on the spectrum

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