Talking about Curing Autism

April 10, 2008 11:02:22 AM PDT
One in every 150 American children is diagnosed with autism. It is a complex developmental disability that appears during the first three years of life.

The biggest challenge for parents is finding the best way to improve the quality of life for their autistic child. Every organization has its recommendations.

Although every organization has the same goal, they are different including TACA - Talking About Curing Autism. They focus on speeding up the cycle time from the autism diagnosis to effective treatments.

Looking at 9-year-old Amanda Duficci, you would never know she was autistic. But six years ago, things were different.

"I had a child who had temper tantrums 24/7 and who could only use single words to communicate, at 5 years old, who it seemed like nothing was ever going right in her day," said mom Sarah.

Sarah says Amanda is doing well because as soon as she was diagnosed they attacked it.

"I left no stone unturned. We did traditional therapies; in addition to that we ran some labs and found out that our daughter was physically sick. She was a metabolic train wreck and as we began to read things that we found on the lab test, the autistic symptoms began to disappear," Sarah said.

Linda Betzold's 12-year-old son, Beau, was diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half.

"He was a typically developing child, I wanna say between 14 and 16 months, something just went wrong. The words that he had began to disappear; he stopped pointing, he stopped looking at us," Linda said.

Beau was unable to be at the interview because of his behavior. A tape was made to show what life is like living with a child with autism.

"It's just changed our lives dramatically. Sometimes I think Beau is there, is there any five minutes period in my day that doesn't have to something to do with autism because I really don't think it does," said Linda.

Although Sarah and Linda's autistic children are different, they believe that TACA offers the best hope for parents, just like Jenny McCarthy did for her autistic son, Evan.

"What we do is provide information to our members at no cost, to empower them with information to get started on helping their child recover from autism," said Sarah.

Amanda's father, Mike, says his daughter is a good example of what can be done if you have all the right tools.

"Whenever she expressed herself, it was just one word, she was always in distress and stressed you know, lining up things. If she did something out of the norm, she would have temper tantrums. But where she is now compared to that is like night and day," he said.

If you want to learn more about TACA, the Illinois chapter has an open house Saturday April 12 at Macy's in the Woodfield Center. The event starts at 4 p.m. You can get specific information at tacanow.org or e-mail sara_difucci@taca.org or christina_blakey@taca.org

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