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Autism and the American Dream

Posted Aug 23 2009 12:00am

Moving box By Nicole Raimann

I realize that with the terrible state of the economy these days this piece could be about the bad housing industry, but for me and my situation it is not just about that, it is about autism.  My husband didn’t lose his job and I can find work if I had to, but instead my son is a victim of insurance discrimination. 

Four years ago when my oldest son was just a few months old we moved into our brand new single family home.  I remember sitting on the carpet with my beautiful baby and thinking that everything I had longed for in life was finally come true.  I was raised by a hard working single mom who often struggled financially.  I grew up dreaming about owning my own house one day and having some extras for myself and my family.   I waited to get married and have children until after I graduated college, had a little money in the bank and a career going for myself.  I thought if I played by the rules, everything would be okay.  I always believed that if I worked hard and did what I was supposed to, the sky was the limit for me and my future family.

Two years ago when my son was two and a half, my husband and I were at a loss as to why our son was becoming increasingly withdrawn and had lost the few words he had ever spoken.  We also felt overwhelmed with his gastroenterological problems, his eczema, and his severe allergic reactions.  I took him to his first speech therapist when he was just over a year old because he wouldn’t eat table food.  We had him evaluated by three different speech therapists by the time he was two, and I kept hearing things like sensory issues and speech delays. 

It wasn’t until I saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah that I realized my son had autism. 

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