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.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News Headlines$275,000 Grant for Roseville Homeless ShelterThe Placer County Board of Supervisors agreed to grant $275,000 to The Gathering Inn, a Roseville-based homeless shelter program
Country Artist Jerrod Niemann in Rocklin at Quarry Park July 16Nashville, Tenn. - Platinum-selling country artist Jerrod Niemann is bringing a great time, with his energetic and entertaining live show, to Country at the Quarry in Rocklin, CA, on Sunday, July 16
Autism Grant Aims to Improve Schools Practices (Sacramento, Calif)- The UC Davis MIND Institute has received a 3-year, $1.4 million grant to study how to build a statewide network to improve use of evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders
Placer County Meals on Wheels Contract Awarded Seniors First has been awarded home delivered meals funding to once again operate the Placer County Meals on Wheels program for 2017 - 2020
Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena a Family Friendly Festival ExperiencePasadena, CA- The hot and humid weather in Pasadena this past weekend caught us a bit off guard as we strolled alongside the Rose Bowl headed for the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend Festival
Santa Monica: Life's a BeachSanta Monica, CA- The glowing rays of the summer sun warm your skin, the cool ocean waves crash at your sand covered feet while the playful sights and sounds of summer
15 Tips for Surviving Summer With Chronic Lung Disease(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Summer days of high heat and poor air quality can be extremely challenging for those with COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and other lung conditions
Roseville to Showcase Big Trucks this JulyRoseville, CA - Watch our utility trucks lift, scope, suck and crush at Big Trucks Summer on Thursday mornings in July.
Kia Forte remains a good bargainRoseville, CA- Kia continues to improve its brand up and down its lineup. There's not a bad vehicle in the bunch.
Roseville Gas Prices Keep Local Travel More AffordableRoseville, CA - The easing of gas prices in Roseville continues into late June as Placer County travel costs decline.
Annual Warrior Golf Classic at Catta Verdera in LincolnLincoln, CA - WJU Athletics will be hosting the 19th Annual Warrior Golf Classic at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln.
Leadership Rocklin Creates Community LeadersROCKLIN, Robin Trimble, CEO of the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, announced that the Chamber will once again host the prestigious Leadership Rocklin program.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It