Ann Bauer's most recent Salon article is about the recurring waking nightmare that is her adult autistic son's downward spiral into unthinkable violence. Please don't click through if you're in a tender or vulnerable emotional state:
This story affected me so deeply that I wrote my first-ever letter to a Salon article author:
Thank you for sharing this.
Like your past self, I put a lot of energy into emphasizing my autistic son's many, many positives. But he is only eight, and I have always been aware that his challenges may multiply. So, while your son's story initially had me vomiting with stress and fear about the future, I agree that it had to be told.
If parents of younger autistic children only hear success stories, and our children's paths follow your son's, then none of us will be prepared. We might even feel cheated -- or, cheated again, if we'd also bought into post-diagnosis cure and recovery hoodwinkery.
You have my empathy, and thanks.
Leelo is already a violent boy, though less so than he was this past winter. But he is also a young boy, with an unwritten future. I will continue to search for and celebrate the positives in his and our lives, while remaining aware that no one can guarantee an ideal outcome, not for any child.
Kevin Leitch at Left Brain|Right Brain
Kristina Chew at Autism.Change.Org