Altered attitudes canopenworlds
office several times,” he said. “Our dentist scheduled us for the end of the day, when there were no other patients, and set goals with us. The goal of the first session was to have my daughter sit in the chair. The second session was so she could rehearse the steps involved in treatment without actually doing them. The dentist gave all of his equipment special names for her. Throughout this process, we used a large mirror so she could see exactly what was being done, and to ensure that there were no surprises.”
Like many parents, Marnin and Margo had become amateur autism researchers themselves, devoting Mystery: We don’t know why autistic children are so distant hours of their precious alone time each week to poring over the latest studies and evaluating therapies that might be of help to Leah. I learned that it was not unusual for parents, whose finances were already strained by the cost of behavioural interventions, to have to walk away from careers they loved to effectively become case managers for their children, fielding teams of behavioural therapists while going into battle with school-boards, regional centres, and insurance companies to ensure that their children got the education and services they deserved.
One of the hardest things about having a child with autism, parents told me, was struggling to maintain hope in the face of dire predictions from doctors, school administrators, and other professionals who were supposed to be on their side. When Leah was diagnosed, an autism specialist told Marnin: “There is very little difference between your daughter and an animal. We have no idea what she will be able to do in the future.” (At 25, Leah is a bright, engaging, and affectionate young woman who remembers the names of every teacher and fellow student in her classes — going all the way back to pre-school — and sings along with
A trip on a plane can take months to plan