At that time-more than 10 years ago-much less was known about the disorder and few therapeutic options were available.
So, at age 9, his parents placed him in a residential program where he could receive 24-hour supervision and care.
From that day on, she recalls, “It was as if someone had pulled a shade over him.” He stopped talking and relating to others. He became fixated on electric lights, running around the house turning them on and off.
Although people with this baffling brain disorder can display a wide range of symptoms and disability, many are incapable of understanding other people’s thoughts, feelings, and needs.Often, language and intelligence fail to develop fully, making communication and social relationships difficult.Many people with autism engage in repetitive activities, like rocking or banging their heads, or rigidly following familiar patterns in their everyday routines.But at home, amid the unpredictable, noisy hubbub of a large family, he was often out of control.His behavior made it harder and harder for his parents to care for him at home and also meet their other children’s needs.