Bravo to Dennis Hamill of The Daily News for highlighting a success story of a child on the spectrum.
She knew something was wrong with Michael when he was 15 months old.
"We'd call his name and he wouldn't answer," says Liz Corrao, of Flushing. "But our pediatrician put us off. He said he'd do a hearing test when he was 2. But I knew there was nothing wrong with his hearing because if he heard 'Blues Clues,' on the TV in the other room he'd hurry to watch it."
Corrao knew something else was amiss.
"Michael would walk endlessly around a table and couldn't be redirected," she says. "He screamed a lot. He lost language. Then he stopped talking."
Tests conducted by the city Department of Health concluded that Michael had autism spectrum disorder, a neurodevelopment disorder characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
"There is no actual test for autism, but experts can detect many of the symptoms," Corrao says. "Some kids rock back and forth. Some have odd tics. Some spin. Michael was a flapper. He was considered mildly autistic. That life-changing moment came 11 years ago, in 2000. I went through hell trying to find the right school for my son."