Learning How To Cope With Autism


By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Raising regular kids is tough enough. But when you have a child with special needs, that's even tougher than some parents can begin to imagine.

Sometimes our brains are bombarded with loud noises or bright lights, and we end up yelling "stop!" But adults and children who wrestle with autism have a very hard time turning their internal volume down.

Clayton Conner is four and a half years old. He and his parents are still learning how to effectively deal with his autism. Clayton's mom points out that children who can't communicate scream, but everyone with autism copes with it differently.

Karee Conner with the local Autism Support Group says, "When we're out in public, and he can't handle it, and he starts screaming, we get stares. We get people coming up and saying things to us about discipline, and they don't understand, they don't know he's autistic. They think he's having a tantrum."

Conner points out that she and her family have to deal with Clayton's autism every day. She wants everyone to understand what they go through. That includes being accepting of kids like Clayton, and learning more about what autism really is.

Conner says, "We have a support group that meets every first Thursday of the month at St. Luke's Magic Valley in the Pine Room at 7:00 p.m. They're more than welcome to come any time."

Conner is helping organize the first ever Autism Awareness Walk coming up on Saturday, April sixth. Registration is at 9:00 a.m., with the one mile walk going from 10 o'clock until 12:00 noon. That's in the east parking lot of St. Luke's Magic Valley.

Conner says, "So they understand what we're going through. So the next time you hear a child screaming, please be understanding and know that they might have autism."

To sign up for the Autism Awareness Walk, call St. Luke's Magic Valley at 814-0094. For the autism support group, e-mail karee099@centurylink.net .

Mar. 26, 2013.

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