One Michigan family's journey with autism
What can a parent do to reach an autistic child, to forge some path through the barrier of autism spectrum disorder – a path that might somehow lead to greater understanding of that child’s mind, heart and soul?
That challenge is facing more and more families in America.
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control found that one in 150 school-age children had been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder. By 2008, that figure was one in 88 – an increase of 78%.
Consider more recent figures from a different government agency: the National Center for Health Statistics estimates that today, one out of every 50 school-age kids has the condition.
The experts tell us these higher numbers may not be so much a matter of more kids having ASD, but rather that health officials are getting better at counting those who do.
But behind all the statistics are the day-to-day stories of families coping with the often crushing challenge of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
One such family is the Mills family of Kalamazoo. Bruce Mills is a professor of English at Kalamazoo College. And he is the father of an autistic son, 21-year-old Jacob.
His memoir of his family’s journey is called “An Archaeology of Yearning.”
Listen to the full interview above.