This morning I ran across a tv news story of Margaret Spielman’s son, Hunter. They live in Georgia, USA. He was diagnosed with fragile X syndrome when he was little. More recently, they tacked on the autism diagnosis as well. Though the information given is probably nothing new to many of us I was intrigued by the video the news station took of Hunter. Hunter is 12 and he exhibits many of the same mannerisms that Matthew does. If you have never seen how a child with autism/fragile X behaves please check out the video (or if you just want to compare your child behaviors or even just feel better that your child isn’t the only one out there that does the things he/she does).
(because this is from a tv news station I’m not sure how long this will remain at these links…but it never hurts to try )
Here is the link to the news story & video: Mom Dealing with Disabilities
If you click Hunter’s picture it will go straight to video
Following is a summary of the text:
The AAP released the recommendations in a report Monday, Oct. 29.
The AAP says autism stems from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, usually impacting a child’s social interaction and communication skills. There is a broad spectrum of autism, from mild to severe.
Dr. David Harvey is a pediatrician in Warner Robins who says most mild cases aren’t diagnosed until children enter pre-k or kindergarten. He says early detection will improve the lives of autistic children and their parents.
We spoke with one Middle Georgia Mom who couldn’t agree more.
Dr. Harvey diagnosed Margaret Spielman’s 12-year-old son Hunter with Fragile X syndrome at 10-months-old, meaning his body doesn’t produce the protein he needs for proper learning and behavior. The syndrome can cause autistic-like behaviors, like when Hunter bites his fingers and flaps his arms. But it wasn’t until 3 years ago that a specialist diagnosed Hunter with autism.
His mother said, “The earlier that you can get a diagnosis and say this is what it is and then you can make your plan because the stages, not only the stages you have to go through mentally as a parent, to come to that acceptance, but then to be able to get to that place and be able to start saying OK, this is what we need to do for my child.”
Margaret says life has been easier since the diagnosis, since she understands why Hunter acts and reacts the way he does. Her understanding has helped Margaret make life better for Hunter.
Now she spends her time helping other parents dealing with disabilities as well.
She works as a liaison between parents with disabled children and the Bleckley County Board of Education. She is also the regional coordinator for a non-profit group called Parent to Parent.
There, Margaret helps parents connect with one another, find resources like therapy and hosts support groups.