Summer camp hosts autistic children - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Summer camp hosts autistic children

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Autism now affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys and the numbers are only growing, but this doesn't mean children with autism can't have a normal summer. That's why the Albany Advocacy Resource Center is hosting a summer camp for children with autism.  Autism program coordinator Debbie Vansant says the camp will focus on one of the most serious issues children with autism have.

"A lot of it is going to be working with our kids on social skills. That's the biggest difficulty for children with autism," said Vansant.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States and parents should look for the signs of autism early in the child's life.

"The pragmatics, which is the social communication, and the challenging behaviors. There's the DSM 4, a checklist of all the different behaviors that a child will exhibit before the age of 2," said Vansant.

According to autismspeaks.com, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.

Although there is no cure for autism the best thing for parents to do is start getting help early.

"The biggest thing is for parents to start getting those therapies or getting help for their child through our preschool or through 'Babies Can't Wait,'" said Vansant.

The camp workers want you to know children with autism are just like other children and they both require one thing... patience.