Ben and Sam Schwenker, now 8 years old, were both diagnosed with autism when they were 18 months old. "Raising them is a daily challenge. We were so not prepared, but we learn more every day, " says Jennifer, the boys' mother.
Autism spectrum disorders cut across all lines of race, class, and ethnicity. Autism impacts millions of children, adults, and their families around the world. Boys have a significantly higher incidence of autism than girls: four out of every five people with autism are male. Because of the genetic link, siblings of a child with autism have a greater chance of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders affect not only the person diagnosed with the disorder, but also make a significant impact on the entire family with a variety of social, financial, and other practical demands.
PICTURED: Now 8 years old, Sam (in yellow) and Ben still spend much of their day after school and weekends on their trampoline. They are still non-verbal but understand some of what they hear.