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.
Print This Article
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
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
Placer County News HeadlinesHeartstoppers Haunted House ReturnsYou will be scared out of your wits for a good cause this October as the Heartstoppers Haunted House returns to the former Mine Shaft venue
Sierra College CACT Training October 8 & 22 Employees can learn Practical Problem Solving skills at the October 8 & 22 training conducted by Sierra College Center of Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT ) with the Continuous Improvement Network
Governor Brown Signs New Gun Control Bill Into LawCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the "Gun Violence Restraining Order (AB 1014)" that will allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to remove firearms from someone temporarily
Placer County Tourism Gets Boost Placer County organizations team up to promote tourism in the region.
Want to Buy a Home and Need a Rich Uncle?Mortgage Alternative Program (MAP)- Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville writes about new program to help get families who can't currently qualify for a mortgage into homes of their choice and on the road to homeownership.
U.S. HealthWorks Offers Onsite Flu Shots U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, a leading operator of occupational healthcare and urgent care centers in the nation, said today it is offering to visit businesses on-site and provide flu vaccination shots
Roseville Police Bust Nets $40,000 Cash, Guns and MethRoseville narcotics detectives suspected that Joshua Holmboe was both selling illegal drugs directly to users and also supplying lower-level drug dealers, and that some of those drugs were then being sold and used in Roseville.
Governor Brown Signs Bill to Help Disabled VeteransLegislation sponsored by George Runner to protect California's disabled veterans has become law. Senate Bill 1113, authored by Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley),
Roseville Chamber Events October 2014Roseville, CA -- The Roseville Chamber of Commerce featured events for the month of October 2014.
Sacramento Area Gas Prices Down AgainAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.61/g yesterday, according to
Nontraditional Employment for Women Event in RocklinSierra College seeks sponsors for the second Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event on October 17
$160,000 for Scholarships Raised at WJU Anniversary GalaJessup's Gala Honored 75th Anniversary and those who brought the Growing University to Placer County