Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Family Copes with Four Sons with Autism

James gives his younger brother
John Jr. a piggyback ride.
GLEN MILLS, Pa. – Mothers make home movies for lots of happy reasons: to record milestones, such as a baby's first steps; to share a child's smile with a far-away relative; or just for bragging rights.
She wondered why her 13-month-old son, Nicky, stopped looking her in the eye, even when she was seated inches away. Why he wouldn't talk or respond to his name. Why he constantly flapped his arms.
May shot the movies to share her concerns with Nicky's doctor. Although she suspected the cause of his behavior changes, she was reluctant to face it. "I'd ask, 'Is this typical?' " she says. "We don't know what typical is."
Indeed, nothing about May's life is typical.
All four of her sons — ages 2 to 10 — have an autism-spectrum disorder, which impairs their abilities to communicate and socialize, and predisposes them to repetitive behaviors, such as Nicky's arm flapping.

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