Friday, March 03, 2006

What It's Like for Parents

"Ben Reich's pediatrician was not helpful, but the Reiches insisted on a referral to a pediatric neurologist who finally made the diagnosis. Along with the news that their son had a pervasive and probably lifelong disability, he handed them an autism pamphlet and wished them good luck.

That was it. " [Emphasis mine.]

This article really captures the experience of parents of a child on the spectrum. The difference between the services available for this child's hearing impairment and the level of assistance in place after the autism diagnosis is very telling, I think:

"I simply could not believe it after the experience we'd had with Ben's hearing. Services for the deaf here are absolutely great. After Ben was evaluated (for deafness), the audiologist informed the Center for Hearing Impaired Children, and the next day, a speech therapist called to set up appointments in our home. There was a preschool; there were support groups; there was information about hearing aids. It was all laid out.

"With autism, it was the exact opposite."

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