Autism Help in the Wiregrass

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One in 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with Autism.
But recent studies show those numbers may be changing.

Amber Byrd’s daughter, Morgan, is 13 years old, and suffers from autism.

"At five and a half months she started having seizures," says Amber Byrd, who’s daughter suffers from Autism.

What started as seizures, turned into something else.

"It wasn't until she started kindergarten, that there was a little girl in her class who had autism, and I was like wait a minute, they act just alike," says Amber Byrd, who’s daughter suffers from Autism.

And once officially diagnosed, finding the proper care was difficult.

"The resources have increased dramatically since we went through this probably six seven eight years ago, the stuff is out there, it's not as available as it should be," says Amber Byrd, who’s daughter suffers from Autism.

It's a problem many parents in the wiregrass face. That's why Fran Heisner is with the Southeast Alabama Medical Center

It's one of the places parents can go for help.

"Here at the medical center the two direct services that we provide with children, who have autism, are speech therapy, which a speech therapist can do that, and we also have occupational therapy, which occupational therapy works on sensory issues as well as fine motor skills," says Speech Pathologist Fran Heisner.

Another resource for parents is at the Pediatric Clinic Westgate Center.

"There's no treatment for autism, but we treat the symptoms, so like with autistic kid, if they have a sleep problem, or if they have aggressive behavior, we can help them," says Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Muhammad Salim.

Because care for children who are autistic is so expensive, doctors urge if you can't keep up with it financially, then make sure you do something more consistent at home, like playing a games.

Which is what Morgan likes to do with her mom.

There is no cure for autism.
If you want to help parents with autism, you can participate in a walk at Kiwanis Park.
It will be Saturday April 13th.

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