As the father of a 14-year-old autistic son, I must take issue with the erroneous statements made in Frank del Olmo's Dec. 27 Perspective on Autism. While the description of the dramatic progress Del Olmo's son is making no doubt gives much-needed hope to parents struggling with their child's autism, many of his assertions imply that if an autistic child is simply given enough therapy and education early enough, he (or she) can "recover."
While a very few autistic people have likely "recovered," their number is undoubtedly quite small. The vast majority do not "conquer" their autism, but retain dramatic and heartbreaking deficits throughout their lives. The only way this unfortunate majority are ever going to see significant improvement in their condition is with medical treatments or a cure, which many in the autism community are working tirelessly for.