Family touched by autism shares hopes on World Autism Awareness - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family touched by autism shares hopes on World Autism Awareness Day


Jack Beauchamp loves jokes. Like many six-year-olds, he likes to color. He's the youngest of five children, and when Jack was two his parents noticed something was different.

"For about a year we said four different times something's just not right," said Becky Beauchamp, Jack's mother.

Jack was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, putting him on the autism spectrum.

"He can speak," said Becky. "He's verbal. His communication is fine that way but he has difficulty with the reciprocal."

A study just released in March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as one in 50 kids is on the spectrum. For the Beauchamps, the diagnosis was a shock.

"You're never ready for somebody to tell you that," said Jay Beauchamp, Jack's father.

The Shellsburg family connected with the East Central Iowa Autism Society where they met many other families dealing with similar situations.

"We really feel like the parents shouldn't have to re-invent the wheel when we've got parents around that have been through it and know how to officially handle these situations as they come up," said Cindy Dircks, Co-President of the East Central Iowa Autism Society.

As for the Beauchamps, they hope World Autism Awareness Day truly brings awareness of the disorder.

"We can start making a difference and maybe next year there will be families that are closer to recovery because of that," said Becky.

The East Central Iowa Autism Society hosts a coffee talk each month to discuss autism.

The next one is Saturday, April 13th at their office in Marion.

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