One Twin with Autism, the Other Without
Nathan and Daniel are 20-year-old twins. Nathan has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Daniel does not.
"Many people told us not to start comparing the development of our twins over the first few years, but it was difficult not to compare," said father Larry Kaplan of Draper, Utah. "Daniel was reaching many (developmental) milestones while Nathan was not. Nathan wasn't walking or talking. He was only making sounds. Yet our pediatrician disregarded all our concerns."
When Nathan was 20 months old, the Kaplans' physician referred the family to specialists who, said Kaplan, "Bet us a dollar Nathan would walk and talk by 24 months." But Nathan wouldn't. He was able at that age to only crawl and stare off into space. He banged his head against walls. At 3, finally, Nathan was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
The National Institutes of Health defines ASD as affecting children before age 3 and being a complex developmental disability that causes challenges throughout life, such as deficits in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication. People with ASD often show repetitive behaviors and have intense interests. No cure exists.
Said Kaplan, "When he was 4, Nathan got through a window screen in our home and took off running. It was the most frightening experience we have ever had. A neighbor found him a half-mile away. We were shaking when the police car pulled up with him inside. That happened another time, too. About 40 percent of kids on the ASD spectrum are 'wanderers.'"
Today, Nathan can't be left by himself and has 24-hour care. He needs help getting up, showering, dressing, and preparing breakfast. The Kaplans' biggest current concern is what will they do when Nathan "graduates" from the school system in 18 months.
Kaplan said, "I like everything about Nathan. He is the most loveable, sweet individual. He makes us laugh and we spend a tremendous amount of time reading to him." Nathan has a close relationship with his twin brother, who often read to him when both were in high school.
In 2005, Kaplan started the U.S. Autism & Asperger Association, which, he said, "brings the most wonderful minds together (in conferences) to try to help practitioners and teachers give these kids (with autism) an opportunity (to improve)." He urged parents to speak up for their child because if they don't, no one will.
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesWhat is Your Realtor Doing?Julie Jalone, Sacramento Realtor with MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, explains what many Realtors are doing when they are not with their clients.
Roseville Flash Crime Report Update (9.29.16)Roseville, CA- Police activity log from Roseville Police for the period covering September 17-27, 2016.
Lexus NX 200t Review: Aggressive and EdgyRoseville, CA - The NX 200t has some aggressive design angles and the standard Lexus front end features thin lights and a nose that one car reviewer says resembles a rat's angry expression.
Mini Maker Faire and Sierra Celebration October 1Rocklin, CA - On Saturday, October 1st, from 10am-5pm, the City of Rocklin and Sierra College will host the Rocklin Mini Maker Faire & Sierra Celebration
Public Invited to Sierra College Patrons Meeting in RocklinRocklin, CA - The Sierra College Patrons, a support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invites the public and those interested in becoming members of the
Local Grant to Help Fund Senior Nutrition Programs(AUBURN, CA) - Seniors First has been awarded a $10,000 grant through the James and Virginia Benson Memorial Fund, managed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation
JB Brown Fund Awards 44 ScholarshipsROSEVILLE - Helping residents achieve their dreams and build a better future for themselves and their families are the foundation of the JB Brown Fund
Rocklin Flash Crime Report (9.28.16)Rocklin, CA- The latest police activity report from Rocklin Police covering the period of September 12- 18, 2016.
Rocklin Venues to Host Cyclocross RacesRocklin, CA - On October 8 and 9 Sacramento Cyclocross will kick-off their cyclocross race season with exhilarating events in two Rocklin locations
$3 Million Plan to Remove Damaged Trees Approved by SupervisorsCounty staff has identified approximately 1,800 trees in need of immediate removal. With an estimate of $1,700 per tree, the total cost of the project is expected to be about $3.1 million
Draft Vision for Sunset Area and Placer Ranch in South PlacerRoseville, CA - Placer County planners today unveiled the first draft land use vision for Placer Ranch and the Sunset Area in south Placer
Grant to Support Seniors First Meal Delivery ProgramSeniors First Executive Director Jamee Horning is honored to announce the receipt of $15,000 from Sierra Health Foundation, a private philanthropy committed to improving health
NEWS: In Case You Missed It