Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events

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.

Follow on Facebook

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

Placer County News Headlines

Downtown Roseville Oktoberfest this WeekendRoseville, CA- Get ready for Oktoberfest this Saturday October 22 at Downtown Roseville's Vernon Street Town Square.

Jack Reacher Opens at IMAX in SacramentoSacramento, Calif. - Set four years since the first film events, Jack Reacher is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit, but reveals that he is now

Genetic Testing Could Prevent DisabilityRecently, I had quite an experience trying to prevent a disability or two in myself. Several years ago, I found online a genetic testing service and later another similar service

Remodeling Your Kitchen - Think WhiteRoseville, CA- Sacramento Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about the basics of remodeling kitchens to get the most out of your investment when selling a home.

Desert Trip: You Just Might Find, You Get What Ya NeedIndio, CA- "Any more fun and we'd be in trouble". Perhaps it was the heat of the desert sun speaking, but

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road provides good versatilityRoseville, CA- Toyota enjoys huge sales numbers in the U.S., where reportedly half the midsize trucks sold are Tacoma models

Placer Gives: Local Resident Leaves Lasting Gift for Disadvantaged YouthRoseville, CA - For Irmgard ("Else") Schichtel a childhood in Nazi Germany set in motion a circuitous path towards a permanent fund at Placer Community Foundation that

Salmon Advocate at Next Rooster Tails BreakfastThe Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge on October 21.

Ridge Tahoe's Dan Garrison Retiring after 34 YearsDan Garrison, the Ridge Tahoe's senior vice president/general manager, will retire in December following a storied 34 years at the resort.

Citrus Tree Quarantine Now at 118 Square MilesAfter the discovery in September of an insect that can carry a disease fatal to citrus trees, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has placed trees in a 118-square-mile area near Lincoln

Mountain Mandarin Festival Seeks VolunteersAs the Mountain Mandarin Festival, slated for November 18-20, has grown from several hundred visitors to 30,000 visitors, the need for volunteers has multiplied.

Sierra College Press Release: King SequoiaRocklin, CA - Sierra College Press has published "King Sequoia" by author and retired national park ranger, William C. Tweed.

NEWS: In Case You Missed It