Autism is a developmental disorder that generally appears within the first three years of life. It affects the brain’s normal development in terms of social and communication skills. The term “autism” now includes a broader spectrum of children.
A child who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism today would have been thought of as odd or strange 30 years ago.
Lee University recently held its annual Camp Spectrum for children and adults with autism. Camp activities included housing at the Lee University Development Inclusion Classroom facility in the old First Baptist Church Street Annex.
The camp included LUDIC music arts program, horseback riding at Tri-state Exhibition Center and swimming at the Cleveland Family YMCA.
In conjunction with Camp Spectrum, the ninth annual Southeastern Autism Symposium was held for parents and other family members who have been or know someone who has been diagnosed with autism.
“The symposium is a collaborative effort through several different agencies,” said Dr. Tammy Johnson, director and teacher for LUDIC. “Agencies include Helen DeVos College of Education, Signal Centers, Life Bridges, and Orange Grove.”
Guest speaker Sondra Williams gave insights on what it is like to have autism.
Sessions included featured information on tracking devices for lost autistic individuals, and a training program for law enforcement officers and responders which informed them of what they need to know in case they encounter an autistic person while on a call.