Gus & us: diagnosing autism early
Posted on April 9th, 2008 by Bob
It was great to read Matt’s post yesterday about Easter Seals Bay Area launching an Early Intervention Autism Program to serve children 18 months through 3 years old. A story about autism on the OnMilwaukee blog points out why programs like that are so necessary. The story features Gus, a client we serve at Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin.
When Christine and Eric Prigge’s son, Gus, was 18 months old, they suspected something was amiss. Gus, who has a twin brother, did not respond to his name, made very little eye contact, didn’t play with age-appropriate toys and seemed distant.
At the time, Christine expressed her concerns to Gus’ pediatrician, but was told developmental disabilities in young children could not be diagnosed until 3 years old. At Gus’ next appointment, Christine voiced her observations again and was again told that she would have to wait for a diagnosis. This time, Christine didn’t settle for the doctor’s response, and started talking to friends about her son’s behavior.
This is a story we hear far too often, the wait to get the right diagnosis. Gus’ Mom did the right thing, though — she sought help and got Gus involved with Easter Seals early on. With Autism or any learning delay, early action can mean much higher outcomes for a child.
Gus and his family will be Walk With Me Ambassadors for Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin this year — we’re thrilled to have the Prigge family on our team.