Treating Children with Autism

POCAHONTAS, AR -- One in every 200 children will have autism.  Over the past several years the number of cases of autism has risen drastically.  One family in Region 8 is trying to find help in raising an autistic child.

Six-year-old Anakin is like any other kindergartner.  He's happy, talkative, and energetic however, he hasn't always been this way.

"He was just barely walking and he wasn't talking at all," said Anakin's grandmother Patsy Poston.

Anakin's grandparents have raised him since he was three.  In that time he has made major improvements.

"Children with autistic disorders usually do not identify themselves in infancy so it can be a shock when behavior tends to deviate from normal," said Dr. Warren Skaug.

There are multiple forms of autism.  Anakin has very mild form of pervasive developmental disorder or PDD.

"He's been in therapy since right after we got him.  He's had speech therapy, physical therapy, and some occupational therapy," said Poston.

Poston has had a hard time finding treatment for Anakin.

"This is a small town and it's difficult to find people that know more about it than I do.  I know there are support groups out there somewhere but I haven't been able to figure out how to get a hold of them," said Poston.

There is help available for children like Anakin.  The Autism Association of Northeast Arkansas is comprised of parents of children with autism.