When parents find out that their child has autism, they often want to know if their child will be able to lead a “normal” life.
There are just so many differences in each case of autism that it’s impossible to predict how “normal” a person’s life will be. The term “neuro-typical” or “NT” has replaced the word “normal” in the autism community.
The good news is that no matter how “low-functioning” or “high-functioning” a child with autism is, there is help and hope for their future.
Now, more than ever before, we have therapies and supports to ensure that people with autism learn to be as independent as possible. Today, many children with autism can be mainstreamed into classrooms with other children. Special interventions can be given to them to improve their ability to learn, as well as their social, academic and communication skills. These interventions can also help reduce the amount and degree of disruptive behavior they may have. Many children are able to learn academic skills like reading, writing and math, and go on to finish high school. Some even earn college degrees.
Even those children who have cognitive challenges are often able to do things to help themselves like cooking, dressing, shopping and working. When a child with autism becomes an adult, there are programs that can teach them to do meaningful work and be involved in their community.
The most important factor in helping a child with autism reach his or her potential is early intervention. The sooner a child begins to receive help, the more they are able to learn and the more they will be able to do as an adult. Even so, no matter when your child is diagnosed, it’s never too late to start treatment.