The Disability May Be Invisible, But the Person Is Not
Autism is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Over the last 10-15 years, awareness and understanding of autism has grown significantly. However, in my role as Vice President of Autism and Clinical Services at the St. Louis Arc, I have spoken to many parents of individuals with autism, particularly those with children. Parents frequently tell me that it can be a challenge trying to convince people that their child has a diagnosis of autism unless they show them the medical documentation.
In many cases, individuals with autism look like their neurotypical peers. Adults and children with autism can play sports, play musical instruments, read, write and undertake many other activities. But these same individuals may struggle with social competence, making friends, and sensory issues. Autism, like many other medical diagnoses such as Multiple Sclerosis, ADHD, Diabetes, or Epilepsy, can be an invisible disability. Having compassion, gaining awareness and understanding, showing support, and becoming educated on Autism and other invisible disabilities can make all the difference in the lives of those struggling daily.
For more information on Autism and available resources please contact us today at 314-569-2211.
Michael Quinn, PhD
Autism and Clinical Services
St. Louis Arc