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Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

This Exit, No Return

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A Reader’s Theatre, By Joy Cowdery continued...

Beth Ann: On the very day we brought our second son, Coe, home from the hospital, we saw the neurologist for the first time to talk about Craven. It was official. It was the A word. But very mild, we were told. I didn’t care how mild it was - my child had just been diagnosed “less than perfect.” Was it me? Was it the vaccinations? Does it matter? Not really. My son has autism and I have to help him.

Jill: I stayed in the guest bedroom for a week, crying for what Mason would miss.
Flowers and cards poured in from relatives as if there had been a death in the family. A death to the dreams of the typical child we thought we’d given birth to. Then one day out of the blue I looked down at Mason and he smiled up at me in the same sweet way he always does and I realized he was not dead. He was right in front of me, smiling, no matter what label had just been slapped on him. So that day I wiped my tears and started to get back to my life and create new or different dreams for myself and Mason.

Jim: Yes, there are challenges. Aaron will never speak, throw a ball with his brother, tell me where it hurts, use a spoon, or run through the grass on a summer’s day. Only thinking of the challenges can make you bitter.

Dee: Chloe can be difficult. She never wants to come inside. Everyday when she gets out of the car from school, she throws herself on the ground, stiffens her body, and screams for hours. The neighbors are used to it and now realize no one is killing her. Every morning at school, the teachers are going through the same thing.

Beth Ann: Challenges? Well, beyond the obvious, we are poor. We are tired. Our family vacations revolve around whatever city the new doctor is in. I just wish we could find a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor at a beach.

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