Sunday, September 02, 2007

Take My Son - A Family's Painful Autism Reality

"Take my son".

- Teresa Abernathy

These are the words that families with severely autistic children know they may someday have to utter. They are the words that I know I will probably someday have to speak, as the father of a severely autistic 11 year old boy, although I do not know the context or the circumstances that will give rise to them. In A Painful Choice To Save A Family the Arizona Republic tells the story of Teresa Abernathy and her family including her husband her severely autistic son Colin and his siblings brother Connor and sister Erin.

The Abernathy's did all they could to help their son overcome his severe autism but finally the disruption in the lives of family members and the violence that Colin inflicted on his mother, the bruises and bite marks, were too much. Colin's mother made the gut wrenching decision to give up her son to the care of the state. As the article indicates it was the right decision for all, including Colin, who benefited from the care and attention he was able to receive. This is a story that all who truly want to understand the realities of severe autism should read. The Arizona Republic, and reporter John Faherty, deserve full credit for telling a story that will not be told by Dr. Gupta and CNN or featured in a Hollywood movie. The Abernathy family - Teresa, Jim, Connor and Erin, all deserve credit for their courage in telling their story, and Colin's story, to the world.

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