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A Boy Brought Back from Autism

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  • A Boy Brought Back from Autism

    Avril Dannenbaum, co-leader for API of New York City, tells a remarkable story of what it took to bring her son back from autism on The Attached Family online magazine at Login information is available in the Fall/Winter discipline issue of The Attached Family print magazine or in the Members-only section of the Forum.

    An excerpt:

    ďI want to paint today.Ē

    I paused in shock at his request. It was a bright morning, just one of many beautiful days weíd had that summer in 2000. But a feeling of unreality washed over me. With those simple words, I had entered the twilight zone.

    For almost two years before that day, my son hadnít spoken much at all, hadnít searched out my eyes, hadnít really done anything that a normally developing child would do. He had lived in a separate universe, a never-never land of lost boys and lost parental dreams. My little cabbage boy.

    Suddenly, as spectacularly as my son had disappeared, he was back with me. I didnít react. There were no big moments of hugging or kissing him. In general, he didnít care for demonstrations of affection. So I didnít fuss. Frankly, I didnít quite believe what was happening. My husband was getting ready for work, and so I just went through the usual motions of making breakfast, while wondering if this would last. Wondering if I was dreaming.

    I got out his paints and his easel. What had happened? What had brought my son home to me?