Bernard Rimland, Founder of the Autism Research Institute died last week. He probably did more to help children with autism than anyone else in the world.
He debunked the "refrigerator mother theory" which supposed that autsim was caused by poor parenting; mothering in specific. What mothers of autistic children went through before this change I can't even fathom.
He was a scientist who recieved his doctorate from Penn State. He was also the parent of an autistic child. (You'd be surprised how many medical people suddenly are willing to look outside the box when their own child is affected, Todd and I included).
In Rimland's obit in the New York Times , autism is referred to as a "puzzling" social skills disorder. They forgot to mention the bowel disorder, the emotional disorder, the behaviorial disorder, the immune disorder, the detoxification disorder, and the gross and fine motor disorder it typically is as well.
The word "puzzling" in association with autism gets on my nerves too. If an adult is suddenly mercury poisoned, and loses eye contact, and speech, and starts flapping their arms, it's called environmental poisoning. The only thing "puzzling" to me is that when it happens to a child, it's called autism instead.
But, I digress. This post is about Dr. Rimland. Without him, my daughter and tens of thousands of others would be far worse off than they are today. My hope is that he's going to continue his work, perhaps tossing obstacles out the way even more effectively, from the other side.
Thank you Dr. Rimland.
From my depths, I thank you.