Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Autism Through the Lifespan #4: The Teen Years

Adolescence can be a tough time for anyone, and when you add an Autism Spectrum Disorder on top of it, life can get even tougher for the child and for their parents. Joy McDaniel has an autistic son and daughter. She struggled through her daughter’s puberty and says, “The boy on the other hand, his puberty is going to be the death of me.” While the mental development of those with autism may be slowed, hormonal changes are not and that can lead to a slew of problems for both the child and those who care for them. And there are just as many changes going on inside the brain during the teen years as there are going on with the rest of the body. Nancy Minshew is a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh. She says, “If you imagine the developing brain, people have no idea how complex that is, it makes a Mars shot or a Moon landing look like a piece of cake.” Listen to the fourth installment of DUQ’s nine-part series on autism. Additional installments will follow on 90.5FM WDUQ every day this week during Morning Edition at 6:40am and 8:50am, and on All Things Considered at 4:20pm and 6:20pm. All of the stories will be archived after they air at this link.

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