Although quite impressed by Ms. O'Neillís thinly veiled hints that brilliant Evan (OíDorney) is a high functioning child on the Autism Spectrum, I do wish more would be said about this. (ìAn Hour With Evan,î Natalie OíNeill, July 20, 2007)
It has been painful watching the rest of the news media miss this and make fun of him, as the E show ìThe Soupî did, or blindly portray him as a simple boy who enjoys music and math more than spelling.
As a school director and a Parenting Consultant, I know the importance of showing a leader in the world of Autism. There is a spectrum, unfortunately, where the very extreme, low functioning ìRainmanî-type are pointed out. Why not celebrate what can be the beauty in this
condition, a condition being appropriately diagnosed now more than ever.
Evan and his mother are a wonderful example of how one can take what could otherwise be painful and turn it into a glowing example of human triumph. Their story could give hope to a group of parents who need a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Ignoring Evanís place on the spectrum keeps everyone in the dark.
Director of The Playgroup, The Getty School
Parenting Consultant, LIPP