Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Thoughts on Autism
Written by Marcia Weinstein

My best friend once told me that God doesn't give us more than we can
handle. When my 18-month-old son, Evan, was diagnosed with a speech and
fine motor delay, I knew I could handle it. When we were told he had
Pervasive Developmental Disorder, I thought I could handle that. When I
heard the word "AUTISM", I didn't think I could handle THAT!

Although I knew that "autism spectrum disorder" is a spectrum of varying
degrees, the worst possible scenarios and questions flashed through my
mind. Will Evan grow up "normal"? Will he succeed in school? Will he have
friends, a girlfriend, a career, a family? Will he live with me forever?
Will he ever be able to live on his own? The answers seemed to elude me,
especially since I expected to get those answers immediately and all at

The subsequent journey has been just that, a continuous journey. No day
has ever been like any other. We are fortunate that Evan is very high
functioning. He speaks, reads, writes, and has friends, plays, and fights
with his brothers. He expresses his feelings appropriately, most of the
time. To the stranger, he's just a typicaI7-year-old boy...maybe a bit
less mature than his peers, but still pretty typical. Evan's disability
presents itself in his ability to use and process language, and
behaviorally, in the frustration that ensues from not being able to
express himself the way he wants to.

1 in 166 children are diagnosed with Autism. I have no opinion on whether
it's an "epidemic"...whether it's the result of genetics, environment,
diet or vaccines. I only know what it's like to deal with my own child.
But I do know that all parents of autistic children have stresses on their
lives that are unique to them. Maybe these articles will help some of you
understand our journey.