Could a Face Like This Conceal a Momentous Secret?
My Boy Collin
Welcome to the world of autism, the invisible disability.
What is it that limits this ordinary looking child's ability to speak? Or to interact normally with others? Why does he prefer to isolate himself from the world while he studies the shape of a stop sign for hours at a time? How can an obviously bright child be stuck in a world of his own?
Nobody knows precisely what autism is. The incidence of autism is increasing in this country. Nobody knows why. There are no clearly identified causes.There are no cures, and no drug therapies available of any kind. Federal funding for research is paltry, and the research now federally funded is mostly statistical in nature, groping in the dark for avenues to pursue.
The only proven way to help a person emerge from this mysterious trap is intensive one-on-one training for many hours per week. Health insurance is no help for those in need of this treatment. Too expensive. Federal funding through Medicaid is sometimes available, but it involves over a year of red tape and waiting, while every minute that elapses represents a lost opportunity. Private funds through charitable organizations are rare, and the waiting lists for help are impossibly long. Courageous specialists in the public schools are few in numbers, overworked and underpaid.
As the custodian of a website that receives a fair amount of traffic, and the father of a child with autism, I decided it was my obligation to use this website to make a few people aware that, yes, autism does affect people that you know. If you have any interest in learning about this disability, here are some links that provide much more information than can in good conscience be gotten away with on a site primarily devoted to bass guitar speakers. Observe:
"Let me Hear Your Voice" is a riveting story of what a real family went through in order to rescue their two autistic children. It is a primer on the subject, and has done more to open my eyes on the subject, and to give me hope and methodology for the future of my son, than any other single source. By Catherine Maurice. Avallable through Amazon.com. Highly recommended.
Autism Research Institute. The name says it all. This organization is headed by Dr. Bernard Rimland. Their site has lots of information. Notable to me are their investigations of infant immunizations as a cause of autism, and their careful attention to the hormone secretin as a possible treatment.
National Alliance for Autism Research. Through this site you can browse back issues of their newsletter, NAARative, and learn whatever you want to about the state-of-the-art in autism theory. And lots of other information.
Oops...Wrong Planet Syndrome. This site is a link-fest. Through these portals pass more information of all aspects of autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and other autism spectrum disorders than can be absorbed in an average lifetime.
Building Bridges.com. Miss Caitlin taught a class on ABA teaching techniques at the Autism Convention in Denver in February, 2000. Collin responds very well to this method of teaching, so her class was of particular interest to me. She is a loving and knowledgable teacher, and an impressive individual, to say the least. Collin spent about two hours with her, and still mentions her name. For those in southern California, she might represent an exciting resource.
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