Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barb and danA Young Man With Autism Voted For You
My friend, writer Barbara Fischkin
wrote this piece. Please read it.

Dear President Barack Obama:

Very simply what follows is the story of a young man with Autism who voted for the first time because he wanted to vote for you.

But it is also a tale about the wars at home and abroad and about the frightening implications regarding an epidemic that affects, at the least, a generation of children.

Our son Daniel Mulvaney is 21 and suffers from a severe disability, one that rendered him suddenly and terrifyingly mute at the age of three and half. As the child of young foreign correspondents who lived and worked in Latin America and Asia, he heard many languages at an early age. Before this regression occurred our Dan spoke English and used phrases and sentences in Spanish, Cantonese and Tagalog. Today, he still cannot utter more than one or two hard-wrought words.

For years, my husband and I have been trying to find out what happened, ever-hopeful that knowledge will lead to cure. I am now an author of non-fiction and novels published by Scribner and Bantam Dell. My husband ultimately led a Pulitzer-prize winning team of investigative reporters. Putting our two heads together we have come to strongly suspect what our instincts told us when this first happened: That Dan was environmentally harmed. It may have happened in Hong Kong where his regression occurred. The source of damage also could have been Mexico City – or Long island. Or any of a number of other places where we lived and traveled both before and after Dan was born. As we continue our long search we explore everything, including the possibility of tarnished or intrinsically risky vaccinations.

And while we do that life must go on. It is like this for most Autism families.

Read the full post HERE.

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