News Flash

Today's prevalence of autism numbers is stagering.  Approximately 1/160 children born today has some indication of ASD (autism spectrum disorder).  Below please find a few answers to some FAQ about Autism. 

What is Autism?
Autism is a neurological disorder that can impair communication, socialization and behavior. It is usually diagnosed within the first three years of life and is four times more common in boys than in girls . However, some types of Autism may not be diagnosed until years later when the child enters school, due to late-occurring social deficits or difficulty playing with others. When this occurs, the child is usually too old to take advantage of early childhood intervention services and is evaluated for entry into the special education system.

Though awareness and understanding have greatly increased over the past few decades, many people are still unaware of the true affect of Autism. It can become an overshadowing factor in every aspect of life, including education, establishing and maintaining relationships, responding to pain and discomfort, and even in the ability to express emotion.

Symptom severity in Autism can range from mild to severe. For example, one child may intensely flap their arms to show excitement, another may display a smile under the same set of circumstances, while another child may sit in the corner and rock, leading the observer to believe that they may be incapable of showing or feeling emotion.

As parents reach the diagnosis, treatment and education stages of Autism, they will hear many different terms used to describe their child. This may include words such as autistic-like, non-verbal, developmentally delayed, autistic tendencies, savant, high-functioning, and low-functioning. The important thing to realize is that all children with Autism are different. What works for one may have zero effect on another. The combinations of signs and symptoms are endless. More important than the words used to describe the child is the underlying understanding that whatever the diagnosis is, children with Autism are able to learn, function productively in society and show positive gains with appropriate education and treatment plans in place. Without appropriate support, the child may never realize his full potential. (Source)

According to the National Academy of Sciences, "the diagnosis of autism can be made reliably in two-year-olds by professionals experienced in the diagnostic assessment of young children" with autistic disorders. Early diagnosis is crucial because education is the primary form of treatment, and the earlier it starts, the better." Autism and PDD: Fact Sheet.

What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a severe developmental disorder characterized by major difficulties in social interaction, and restricted and unusual patterns of interest and behavior. There are many similarities with autism without mental retardation (or "Higher Functioning Autism"). (see Resources: Asperger's Syndrome; information & support).

What Can You Tell Me About Asperger Syndrome?. Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological disorder, which most researchers feel falls at the "high end" of the autistic spectrum. Individuals with Asperger syndrome can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe. While sharing many of the same characteristics as Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified and High-Functioning Autism, Asperger syndrome is a relatively new term in the United States, having only recently being officially recognized as a diagnosis by the medical community.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
The diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before 3 years of age. Symptoms may include problems with using and understanding language; difficulty relating to people, objects, and events; unusual play with toys and other objects; difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings, and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns. (source)

Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders). A detailed booklet, from the National Institute of Mental Health, that describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.

Intensive Early Intervention
All available research strongly suggests that intensive early intervention makes a critical difference to children with autistic spectrum disorders. Without early identification and diagnosis, children with autism are unlikely to learn the skills they need to benefit from education.

Contact Info
Superintendent's Office
(651) 345-2198
300 South Garden Street
Lake City, MN 55041

Lincoln High School
(651) 345-4553
300 South Garden Street
Lake City, MN 55041

Lincoln Attendance
(651) 345-4472

Lincoln High School Fax
(651) 345-5894
Bluff View Elementary 
(651) 345-4551
1156 West Lakewood Ave.
Lake City, MN 55041

Bluff View Attendance 
(651) 345-4528

Activities Director
(651) 345-2850
300 South Garden Street

Community Education 
(651) 345-7006
300 South Garden Street