A slammed door.
"Autism? Chris has autism? And my grandson will always have autism? But he's only three. What about my dreams for him?"
"Asperger Syndrome? But isn't that a boy thing? Like lining up cars and memorizing timetables? Sure, Anna's quirky - when she's not riding horses she's writing about them - but she gets good grades and has one good friend who looks out for her. Hope that doesn't change when puberty hits."
PDD-NOS? Right...like my teachers are going to even know what that is! Just one more 'excuse for Tony's bad behavior.' That's what this will become. My teachers don't know what to make of me, and I get that. I don't even know what to make of myself."
The soft click of a turned key that can unlock a door to understanding.
"Autism? So Chris isn't just spoiled? I thought that was all there was to his behavior, but maybe even this Grandpa needs to learn something new."
"Asperger Syndrome? Anna recites horse breeds when she's stressed, and we totally can't get through. I used to think she was ignoring us, but I can understand now how she uses horses to cope."
"PDD-NOS? So my handwriting sucks for a reason? When I work to make my words readable, they get all jammed up inside my head. 'Time's up, Tony. Put down your pencil.' That's when I explode. If my teachers understood this, maybe I could type, maybe then my words would come out right."
The Hench Autism Studies Program understands the complexities individuals and families along the autism spectrum face, and seeks to strengthen the whole family through:
- Parent meetings
- Summer camps for adolescents
- On-campus public school classroom
- Library resource room
Unlock doors to understanding.
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