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 HeadlinesPlacer Land Trust Acquires 40 Acres along North Fork of American RiverPlacer Land Trust is very pleased to announce that in early April it acquired 40 acres of gorgeous land along the North Fork American River at the bottom of the Green Valley Trail.
$20 Pet Adoptions at Placer County's Auburn ShelterFacing a spring surplus of rescue pets - and in celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day April 30 - Placer County's Auburn animal services center will lower adoption fees
Roseville Hosts I Love the 80's Fun RunRoseville, CA- On Sunday, May 1, 2016, the City of Roseville will host the I Love the 80's Fun Run in Downtown Roseville.
Yomen Spring Celebration in RosevilleYomen spring celebration in Roseville is free community event at Maidu Museum & Historic Site on April 30, 2016.
Roseville Man Arrested for Child Molestation in Bay AreaJames McNealy Carroll, a 64 year-old Roseville resident has been arrested for six counts of child molestation.
Vacancies: Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory BoardThe Placer County Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board is in need of additional community members to fill vacant seats.
Distance Language Intervention and Disabilities CommunicationSean Sawicki, who has fragile X syndrome, can be hard to understand and doesn't always have the attention span to carry on a sustained conversation
Sutter Buttes Bike Poker Run & Wine Tasting May 14thSutter, CA - Visit Yuba-Sutter will host the annual Sutter Buttes Bike Poker Run and Wine Tasting event on May 14, 2016.
Roseville's Greener Gardens Tour & DIY Expo Roseville, CA- Join hundreds of people for Roseville's Greener Gardens Tour and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Expo on Saturday, May 14th
Holly Heinzen reflects on 31-year career in serviceAfter making it through her first day, wondering if she would even be able to make it up the hill and into the parking lot, Heinzen had found a place where she would spend the duration of her career
Autism: Pool and Water Safety TipsRoseville, CA- April is National Autism Awareness month. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children and adults who have Autism.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in AuburnAuburn -The Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) and the City of Auburn will host a ribbon cutting celebration to recognize the installation of two new electric vehicle
NEWS: In Case You Missed It