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 HeadlinesCarmel, Big Sur are Awe Inspiring PlacesCarmel, CA- Visitors travel from far-flung corners of our globe to experience the magic that is Carmel-By-the-Sea and Big Sur.
Golden1 Center Concert and Event Schedule 2017Sacramento, CA- Golden1 Center's 2017 concert and event schedule is here.
Roseville Budget is Unsustainable at Current Service LevelsThe Roseville City Council wants community input to help stabilize General Fund budget
Roseville Students take Top Honors in Video ContestRoseville, CA- Tarik Ansari, Ethan Wolfe and Noah Zackery from Woodcreek High School in Roseville took top honors in the 2017 Water Spots Video Contest
$700,000 Raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Life Time FoundationROSEVILLE, Calif. - Ride for a Reason raised more than $700,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Life Time Foundation.
WJU to Host Sacramento Church Leaders ConferenceRocklin, CA - The Sacramento Church Leaders Conference is a two-day event hosted at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California from May 12 to May 13
$5.2 Billion in New Transportation Taxes for California ResidentsCalifornia finally passes a long awaited transportation funding bill May 2017. The California Legislature just passed a new Transportation Funding Bill
Wine Adventures Crushes It with Feast for the SensesPlacerville, CA- Wineries in this part of California know how to throw a great party.
Roseville Gas Prices Leaderboard Shifts SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices remained relatively flat this past week in Roseville. Sam's Club nudged Costco from atop the low price leaderboard
Walgreen Co. Pays $9.86M to Settle Allegations of Improper Medi Cal BillingsWalgreens has paid $9.86 million to resolve allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act
BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage LineupNAPA, CA, -- Situated in the heart of America's wine and food playground, BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has announced that Martha Stewart, José Andrés and Masaharu Morimoto
Lincoln's Community Christian School RelocatingLINCOLN - Lincoln's Community Christian School, which has been serving the community since 1995, announced today that it will be moving for the 2017-18 school year to a new location
NEWS: In Case You Missed It