I've listened just now to the last half hour of your segment on autism, and was fascinated and delighted with your thoughtful and detailed portrayal of the life of our autistic kids. I am a father of a high functioning six-year-old autistic girl, who is beautiful, kind, and smiles all the time. The same sort of ritualistic behaviors your segment noted do show up, such as watching videos of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory dozens of times, and being ultra-sensitive to sound. While she is gravitating away from that in some measure, it is clear she is different socially. Let me relate one such incident: while walking one day, my daughter had greeted two overweight people warmly by saying, "Hello, fat man! Hello, fat woman!" I was so mortified I said nothing, and heard the woman exclaim, 'How rude!" I wanted to explain to her, b/c I knew that in my daughter's mind, she was paying a sincere compliment, and merely referencing an obvious identifying trait of this couple.
Also, I am a teacher of Latin, and, in the last few years, have had three students on the autism spectrum in upper level Latin. They have all been top of their class!
Thank you for bringing the spotlight onto this societal challenge in a clear, warm, and refreshing way.
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