Saturday, December 15, 2007

Autistic Man Found Safe in California - A Real Autism Feel Good Story

While much of the autism news this week has revolved around the hysterical reaction in some quarters to the 'Ransom Notes' campaign a real autism story also took place in Ukiah California where Ted Daly, a 20 year old autistic man, unable to speak, capable only of communicating by hand gestures, ran away from school and was missing for 14 hours in below freezing temperatures. The Press-Democrat reports that "hundreds of people were looking for 20-year-old Ted Daly when he was finally found walking on Low Gap Road early Thursday morning

Fortunately Mr. Daley turned up safe. Other news stories of autistic persons leaving their homes and running in traffic or getting lost have not always turned out so well. The hard realities of persons with Autism Disorder are not helpful in telling the "autism is beautiful" story that the harsh critics of the 'Ransom Notes' campaign insists on selling to the world. Arguing about what metaphors are appropriate for use in describing autism did not result in Ted Daly's safe return. It was hundreds of people sacrificing their time and effort to help a neighbor and maybe some good luck.

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