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CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – It’s a growing developmental disorder that now impacts 1 in 88 children, and with those kinds of numbers, you can bet people are talking about autism, especially on this day, where the focus is all about spreading awareness.
“It just gets people talking about autism people just don’t know, you say autism and people don’t know,” says Melissa Morua from Crest Services in Albert Lea, MN.
Today businesses like Crest Services in doing the part to help get the word out to people who may not know much about the disorder by changing their lights to blue.
At three years old Grant and Christina Maulsby’s son Quentin has been through a lot.
“There was something not clicking right in his brain so we took him in to have a check up and found out he had autism,” Maulsby explains.
The Maulsby’s first noticed something was wrong after Quentin was abused by a former baby sitter at just 5 months old.
“After he was abused he had permanent brain damage so I think that had a lot to do with causing autism,” says Maulsby.
That happened about three years ago and since then; things have been different for the family.
“You can really move on because you always think about it and you know the lady who did it, she’s out of jail you know just living her life and it’s just frustrating and it’s time to get it over with so we can hopefully start moving on from it a little I mean Quentin obviously will never have a normal life,” he adds.
And while raising one son with autism is not easy for the Maulsby’s, now their youngest son Urijah is also showing signs of the disorder. Urijah is going in for a screening in a few weeks to determine if he has autism.
But Grant and his wife Christina are just taking one day at a time.
“It’s challenging he doesn’t sleep at night he’s got a different pattern than most children and it’s hard but I wouldn’t have it any other way, he’s made my life that much better,” he says.
We want to pass along an update to this story, Grant’s son Quentin was rushed to Iowa City overnight because he was suffering from seizures, which are sometimes linked to autism. The Maulsby family tells me is going to be okay but he is still at the hospital recovering.
The Maulsby’s are working on setting up an autism center that would provide support and services to families in the north Iowa area.