Autism and Being Human

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The piece Dear “Daddy” in Seat 16 C is getting a lot of media play but it really is worth the read.   It shows how hard it is for the parents who raise autistic children and how we all need to be a little more open and tolerant of others.  Autism is real.  Autism is hard on the parents.  Sure there is a spectrum for this disorder and I have seen the whole gamut, but we all should try walking in the shoes of parents who struggle daily while raising autistic kids.   Why do I care?  For some reason, I really like autistic patients.   While in Maine, my practice had an extraordinary amount of them.  I mean waaaaaay more than my partners and most other family docs.  I just seem to get them and I don’t now why.  I know they can be tough to connect with.  I know they can put off other patients.  But to me, it is not only a challenge but it can be really fun.  I leave the room energized versus being drained with “whoa is me” patient.  I think part of it was that the parents of the kids with autism felt comfortable with me and appreciated my enthusiasm and that gave me positive reinforcement.  They knew I cared.  In the end, just like the subject of the piece linked above, it really is just about being human.

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