Autism: the second chance

After knowing and understanding more about autism it is time to introduce you, our loyal reader, to Donovan Bender.

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The Bulletin News

Autism is not something people talk about every day or at all. Nowadays people are more open to understand what it is and how it affects the lives of those parents with children that suffer from autism. Most people do not even know what autism is or that there are different types of autism. The dictionary explains autism: a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterised by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. WebMD explains it better: Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviours. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism consists of three types: Autistic Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Autistic Syndrome is also better known as “classic” autism and the symptoms are the following: significant language delays, social and communication challenges and unusual behaviours and interests.
Asperger’s Syndrome is one of the milder types of autism. Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome might experience the same symptoms of Autistic Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder but much less so than those diagnosed with the other two types.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder better is known as Atypical Autism. People will be diagnosed with this type of autism if they have characteristics of the other two types. This type of autism is also characterised as follows: These people tend to be the highest functioning autistic types and simply do not fit into any of the other categories or types of autism.
After knowing and understanding more about autism it is time to introduce you, our loyal reader, to Donovan Bender.
Donovan was diagnosed with severe autism and profound disability when he was a little boy. His parents realised that he was behind with his development when he was one and consulted a doctor. One doctor’s visit led to another, CT scans/MRI and chromosome/genetics tests were done but the results kept on returning back normal. Donovan was finally diagnosed with severe autism and profound disability. Profound is the most severe condition that one can be diagnosed with. Donovan was never diagnosed with a medical explanation for his condition.
He attended the Marietjie School in Secunda and at the age of 7, he started at Estralita in Lydenburg. He was shining at Estralita until at the age of 11 he started getting epileptic fits and his parents were advised that he needed medical attention. In 2008 Donovan was admitted into Woodside Sanctuary. Donovan almost lost his place at Woodside Sanctuary due to unforeseen financial difficulties, but before things got too bad there was a golf day organised at Walker Park Golf Course and enough money was collected to keep him at Woodside Sanctuary! His mother, Louise Rodway, was blown away by the help she received from the community and said the following: “I am truly blessed with people that opened their hearts to us on the golf day. I am in a position now to keep him there a little longer. Sadly, it is the only home that Donovan knows and he is happy there. I cannot face to make that change and to find something cheaper than Woodside that will give my son the same care and love is almost impossible.”
– Ané Prinsloo
Source: https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com/faq/what-are-the-three-types-of-autism-spectrum-disorders/

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