By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Teaching tolerance: I have a 5-year-old daughter with mild autism. She performs perfectly when it comes to academics, though socially she's a little off. We have been through so much as a family and unfortunately have had to endure comments from an unknowing/uneducated public. What we have learned from having an autistic child is valuable. We can teach parents with regular children how to cope, understand and be tolerant of others.
Anne Stone, Glendale
Help and understanding: Thank you for letting people know how important it is not to live in denial. I have a son with Asperger's, and it is a daily challenge and a daily reward. He is bright, loving and a generally good kid. But the schools don't "get" him, and the teachers want me to "fix" him so he can fit in.
Don't get me wrong, I am doing everything I can, as a single mother who does not receive any services. He gets speech and social skills therapy that I pay for.
I cry probably four or five times a week just out of frustration and loneliness in this. My marriage of 10 years ended over a difference in understanding of how to handle this child. Lots of parents in this situation divorce. That is sad, and it's largely because of a lack of information out there for parents and professionals.
My son has had diagnoses of attention deficit disorder, Tourette's syndrome and Asperger's. He has also been labeled, incorrectly, as bipolar and neurotypical. Thank you for shedding light; our kids need and deserve help and understanding.
Name withheld by request
Not in the genes: Yes, there are cases of Fragile X, but that is not what causes autism. Genetics is not the cause of most cases of autism. Anyone who thinks that autism is genetic doesn't understand math. It is a statistical impossibility.
This is not to insult Cheryl Fisher, who's mentioned in your story, in any way. She and my wife are friends. She has what she thinks to be true, and I have what math says is true. If someone thinks 2 plus 2 equals 3 and math says 2 plus 2 equals 4, is the person or the math right?
I wish autism were uncomplicated. I do think that damaged genes could play a part in why some kids get it, but my question would be: What is damaging the genes of these kids?
Eric Archer, Phoenix