Optimal learning can only be achieved when individuals with autism have healthy bodies.
In addition to behavioral treatment, why does FEAT strongly support thorough, individual medical evaluations and necessary treatment for individuals who have autism?
Simply stated, children and adults who have healthy bodies are able to learn more effectively. People with autism need and deserve treatment for illness and disease, just the same as a person who does not have autism. Historically, many illnesses suffered by individuals with autism were attributed to the manifestation of the hopeless state of autism and thus, tragically left untreated. Thankfully, we now know that all people with autism must have routine medical and dental evaluations performed either by experts in the care of persons with autism, or by compassionate doctors and nurses who are willing to work with the parents and learn from them how to best examine and treat their child successfully.
Great diligence is required in the medical evaluation of individuals with all functioning levels of autism as symptoms of illness cannot be or are not reported accurately. People with autism are susceptible to the same illnesses and diseases as those who are not disabled. Additionally, it is known that people with autism have higher rates of seizure disorder, and many young children with autism have immune system function that is distinctly different than that of typically developing young children. Parents and professionals need to be aware of the potential seizure and immune system issues in people with autism, in addition to monitoring for any other medical issues that might arise, which might be indicated by changes in appearance and/or behavior.
The families of FEAT have learned that to help a child with autism reach his or her unique potential, a comprehensive plan is needed, which includes the highest quality of behavioral intervention, good health, and the opportunity to participate as fully as possible with his or her family and within the community. People with autism can have a wonderful quality of life across their lifespan if a comprehensive plan is put in place as soon as a diagnosis is made, and continued for as long as needed.