Autism and Being Human


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.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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1 Response

  1. Ken says:

    I am still not convinced mild or “high-functioning” autism has anything to do with severe autism. It seems to me the same as putting costochondritis in the same category as a dissecting aortic aneurysm because they both present as chest pain. Oh for an objective lab test to diagnose psychiatric illnesses!

    Not that this has anything to do with the point of Doug’s article.

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