No one knows what causes autism, but researchers think both genetic and environmental factors play a role. It is a mystery that affects nearly 2 million Americans and their families. There is no cure and most children will live with the disorder their whole life. Now, that's the devastating part. The good news is there is a wonderful support system available right here in Lubbock. And the parents of autistic children will tell you, this is a disorder that involves the whole family and you just can't face it alone.
"Do your best not to deny it. Embrace it. Take the strongest action you can take. Get as much information as you can. Trust your own instincts," says John Beyer, whose son was diagnosed with autism.
You can learn more by watching the Today Show and Nightly News as NBC runs a week long series on autism this week. But here at home, we have a great resource for you too.
The South Plains Autism Network meets Tuesday night and the fourth Tuesday of every month in the academic building of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. It provides a support group for families with autistic children with the guidance of a pediatrician and psychologist there to answer questions.
That's Tuesday night from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Meet at the Speech and Hearing Clinic on the second floor of the Health Sciences Center in room 2A-300. Child care will be available and it is free.