Autism a Challenge for Coachella Family

Jul. 18, 2013 / By

Autism

 

KARLA MARTINEZ/Coachella Uninc

It was not too long ago that I had no idea what the word “autism” meant. Unfortunately, now I know the definition all too well.

A few years ago, my mother worked with kids with disorders such as anger management, Down syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She was very observant of their behavior because she wanted to better understand them.

Then about two years ago, my mother noticed that my three-year old cousin, Antonio, was different from the rest of the kids in the family. Antonio couldn’t speak, not even his own name, or respond to anything we said to him. He was uncomfortable in crowded places and was bothered by loud noises. He had many of the same traits as the ASD children she had tutored.

According to Clearing the Fog About Autism, autism is a range of complex neurodevelpment disorders. The symptoms include failing to respond to their names, avoiding eye contact, repetitive movemnts, and becoming indifferent to social engagement.

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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.