Support for Families with Autistic Children

MyGoal Autism in New Jersey dedicates its work to empowering and educating families with children who suffer from autism. The recovery journey for these children often produces many challenges for families. Statistics show that parents of special needs children divorce at higher rates than other parent groups. Because the effective treatment of these kids requires the foundation of a strong family, MyGoal Autism provides family support services, particularly to those from underserved areas and lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

MyGoal Autism provides counseling through family support groups. There are different groups for fathers, siblings, and one designed to address the needs of new parents. One category focuses on how parents can create social lives for themselves. Additionally, the center provides marriage and family counseling advocacy services. To teach families tools for overcoming stress, MyGoal sponsors a Wellspring Life stress management class. Finally, the organization provides a series of educational seminars on autism awareness, treatment, and basic rights to education. For more information on services, visit www.mygoalautism.org.

About the author: Dr. Steven Bier serves on the Board of Directors of MyGoal Autism. A Radiologist, Dr. Bier attended the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

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Myths and Facts about Autism: Q&A with Dr. Steven Bier

Dr. Steven Bier serves on the Board of Directors of MyGOAL Autism. He completed his residency in radiology at Mount Sinai Hospital and is a published author on the topic of identifying radiological signs of autism.

Q: What is the number-one myth about autism?

Dr. Steven Bier: I’d say the biggest myth regarding autism is that people affected by the condition all act the same way. The truth is that autism may manifest in a number of ways, some more severe than others.

Q: How many children are affected by autism in the United States?

SB: In the United States, less than 1 percent, or one out of every 110 children, are affected by autism. Generally, impairment expresses itself in one or more areas: impaired communication, social interaction, daily living skills, and repetitive behaviors.

Q: What is another myth regarding autism?

SB: Another myth, which I personally believe must be debunked, is that autism is the result of bad parenting. This is false. Although the exact cause is unknown, we do know that autism is a neurobiological disorder.