LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — April is World Autism Month, and it’s currently estimated that as many as 8,500 school-aged children in Nevada have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, with many living in the Las Vegas valley.
Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder and people diagnosed can experience delays with social, emotional, and communication skills. They also may repeat certain behaviors and have a different way of learning.
Local pediatric neurologist Dr. Rooman Ahad works with autistic children daily, and she recently wrote a book titled “Amazing Abe Has Autism.”
The book follows a young boy named Abe in everyday life with his family, on the playground, and with his speech therapist. The book helps show how he is like other children and how he is different. It’s not only for children with autism, but also for children who may have a relative or a loved one with autism.
“I felt there wasn’t a book written by a physician who has a different perspective,” Dr. Ahad said. “That is where the idea for the book came from. I also just wanted to create some literary space for children on the spectrum to help them help others understand them better.”
According to Dr. Ahad, there are different resources depending on where a child is on the spectrum.
“I often say parents are the biggest advocates for their children. If you feel that something is not right or you feel that your child is not progressing or developing, don’t feel afraid to bring attention to it at your pediatrician’s office,” she said. “Advocate for yourself, advocate for your child. Early intervention and services are available through the state.”
Dr. Ahad works with the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation and UNLV’s School of Medicine.
The book has been well received, and she has some upcoming book readings as well. “Amazing Abe Has Autism” is available online now at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.