Suffer from the social stigma associated with persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers.
Experience financial stress due to the exorbitant costs of caring for a child/youth with ASD.
Encounter grief, isolation and fear of the future.
Believe that their personal value and societal judgment is based on their child’s behavior.
Many children and youth with ASD:
Have no physically distinguishing characteristics
Exhibit repetitive behaviors
Are often inflexible
Exhibit various levels of verbal skills while some are non-verbal
Have low muscle tone and postural control
Demonstrate hyper or hypo states of sensory responsiveness
Exhibit poor motor skills
Exhibit deficits in social skills including many areas of pragmatics
May present as having mental retardation
Exhibit poor auditory and visual processing
Demonstrate idiosyncratic methods of communicating such as pointing, using simple gestures or making a particular sound
May exhibit compromised immune systems
Often demonstrate food and environmental intolerance
May develop severe behavioral issues such as tantrums, SIB and aggression