Does Your Son Struggle with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Vision Boys Academy is a Christian boarding school for pre-teen boys that walks and talks heart to heart with struggling boys 8-12 years old. Vision focuses on building effective communication with each student, and his family.
Parents and loved ones of young boys who struggle with autism symptoms can find caring support and help at an affordable, family-style home and boarding school, Vision Boys Academy, in rural Sarcoxie, MO. “Personal experiences with adoption, rebellion, and academic troubles help us connect and relate one on one. Leading at-risk boys, ages 8-12, to be Godly and upright young men – that’s our purpose!” adds Shawn Parker, Executive Director of Vision Boys Academy.
“Our goal is to get boys to a place where they can learn to manage their emotions and learn to be responsible. Once we get a young man to identify and accept responsibility for his actions, then we can help that young man make some lasting changes. That’s also when the Nouthetic (Biblical) counseling starts making an impact.”
The qualified boarding school staff at Vision Boys Academy helps struggling pre-teen boys who suffer from Autism, RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), as well as at-risk boys who need a change in environment, disconnected from the internet and harmful relationships. Call (417) 246-1114 to learn more about our program.
What is ASD?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less. 1
ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is about 4 times more common among boys than among girls. 1
Autism spectrum disorder is a single diagnosis that encompasses many people who are very different from one another. So, to clarify these differences, the DSM-5 also includes functional levels. People who are bright and verbal are generally given the diagnosis of Level 1 ASD.
Signs and Symptoms of Level 1 ASD:
- Problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASD also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life. 1
- Show affection, complete daily tasks, and use age-appropriate language, reading, and math skills. On the other hand, they may not be able to hold eye contact, maintain a conversation, engage in play, or pick up on social cues.
- Significant speech and language delays but may be able to take part in an inclusive academic program because of their age-appropriate academic skills.
- Relatively mild speech and social delays but may have severe sensory issues which make it impossible for them to take part in an inclusive academic program.
- Severe anxiety, learning disabilities, and sensory challenges but still have age-appropriate speech and exceptional abilities in music, math, and engineering.
With a Level 1 ASD diagnosis, the possible combinations of strengths and challenges are almost endless. This not only makes the characterization of behaviors difficult but also can leave you confused as to what level of skilled support is needed. 2
Adding to the confusion is the fact that many people with autism may be bright and accomplished yet have severe symptoms (such as anxiety and sensory dysfunction) that significantly impact their daily functioning. 3
Diagnosis and Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder
If you think your young boy might have ASD or you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts, contact your child’s doctor, and share your concerns.
If you or the doctor is still concerned, ask the doctor for a referral to a specialist who can do a more in-depth evaluation of your child.
Specialists who can do a more in-depth evaluation and make a diagnosis include:
- Developmental Pediatricians (doctors who have special training in child development and children with special needs)
- Child Neurologists (doctors who work on the brain, spine, and nerves)
- Child Psychologists or Psychiatrists (doctors who know about the human mind)
Currently, no treatment has been shown to cure ASD, but several interventions have been developed and studied for use with young children. These interventions may reduce symptoms, improve cognitive ability and daily living skills, and maximize the ability of the child to function and participate in the community.
The differences in how ASD affects each person means that people with ASD have unique strengths and challenges in social communication, behavior, and cognitive ability. Therefore, treatment plans are usually multidisciplinary, may involve parent-mediated interventions, and target the child’s individual needs.
Behavioral intervention strategies have focused on social communication skill development—particularly at young ages when the child would naturally be gaining these skills—and reduction of restricted interests and repetitive and challenging behaviors. For some children, occupational and speech therapy may be helpful, as could social skills training and medication in older children. The best treatment or intervention can vary depending on an individual’s age, strengths, challenges, and differences. 1
Vision Boys Academy Can Help Your Struggling Boy
Our 27-acre campus includes a fishing pond, basketball court, and weight-lifting area. Students live in a comfortable dorm, able to house 12-15 boys in a safe, understanding environment monitored by staff 24/7. We serve healthy meals every day next door in our family-style cafeteria. Boys attend classes, Monday through Friday, in our newly updated schoolhouse. Vision Boys Academy staff and their families live on-campus in houses attached to the school.
Vision Boys Academy’s focus is on providing a nurturing learning environment for at-risk boys, in a safe, daily structured program that promotes personal, spiritual, and academic growth. One-on-one discussions and interaction with trained staff significantly contribute to each boy’s development into a fruitful, godly young man.
We want to help your boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder improve his life!
In addition to outpatient treatment and counseling, your young boy may also benefit from enrollment at an all-boys school like Vision Boys Academy.
Please call us today. (417) 246-1114. We look forward to speaking with you!