WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Mary and Steve Moen fought for years to get their son Max, now 10, the help he needed to deal with the behavioral and social problems he exhibited as a child with autism.
They went for numerous evaluations and sought out some of the best specialists in the field, enduring sometimes year-long waits for consultations. Their persistence paid off; Max attended a special autism program to help him function better socially and control his behavior better, and now he attends a mainstream school and performs well academically, behaviorally and socially.
Still, the underlying cause of Max's autism remains a mystery -- a situation his parents hope to change.
Moen shared her son's story in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Children's Health subcommittee Tuesday. The subcommittee met to get a status report on research into the links between environmental factors and developmental disorders like autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.