Autism story shows contrast to earlier days
Congratulations on your article about autism in the winter Quarterly. It is truly amazing to see how many media stories there are now about autism spectrum disorders, something few people knew of back in 1974 when I was hired to teach a class of 3-year-old autistic children.
I answered an ad in the local Westchester County newspaper looking for a teacher in this field. When I read the ad, I thought it said “artistic” children. Since I had majored in art at Wheaton and had a master’s degree in elementary education, I thought I’d apply. Little did I know what I was getting into. I had four children in my first class, all nonverbal, severely autistic, self-abusive, spinning, no social skills, etc., and it was quite something to deal with.