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Autism

May 05, 1991

I will never know if I was born autistic. Many of my age, 42, were born when little was known about it. A pair of dedicated parents, both teachers, and two older brothers made every effort to help me join the mainstream.

Thousands more near-autistics occupy the extreme of a human spectrum. Autism, or any degree of it, is not hopeless. We deserve treatment as lovable humans, not reprogrammable robots. We may not know how to express our feelings, but that doesn't mean that we don't have them.

Autism is not curable; it it can be manageable. I will never wake up and not feel a natural urge to tune out the world, and bask in old repetitive rituals. Today, however, my world is less threatening, and I work to be more a part of it.

JERRY NEWPORT

Santa Monica

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