A support group is being formed formed to address children's behavioral problems related to autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

The group meets from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.  each 1st and 3rd Monday, starting April 30, in the Woodward Regional Hospital Community Room.

"Parents who are having difficulties with their children at home and school, which may be difficult to address, are invited," said Johnnie Ferguson, great-grandparent of a 12-year-old autistic boy.

The experience with autism led her to form the support group.

"I believe there's a need for it," Ferguson said. "At one time, 1 in 88 children were considered to be autistic. Now, it's 1 in 30."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that among symptoms of autistic children are difficulties with simulated play and resistance to wearing "itchy" clothes. Asperger's sufferers also have challenges with their play skills, and have odd obsessions - trains, doorknobs and even French history.

"These kids don't do well in group situations," she  said. "There needs to be an alternative school, where we can find the kids in the lower grades and help them."

Initially, kids shouldn't accompany their parents to the support group sessions, Ferguson said.

"I have talked to 1 person that this would help," she said. "There are bound to be more. As caring as Woodward is, this is an idea that will give them some support."

Call Ferguson for more information at (580) 334-4000.

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