April 6, 2017, Fox12 (Sherman, TX): Neblett Elementary student's journey with Autism, By Anthony Miller
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -- Nathan Adams is a seven-year-old child who attends Neblett Elementary school in Sherman, Texas.
He's a lovable child who plays and even explores like every child, but at a young age, his parents knew there was something different about him when he wasn't responding to his name at one year old.
Just before he turned three, he was diagnosed with autism.
"It gave us some closure to it," said Nathan's father, Jeff Adams. "It gave us kind of a path forward, but at the same time, it was difficult."
"Kind of a relief at that point to know which direction to go," said Nathan's mother, Desiree Adams.
This three and a half minute news report on April, Autism Awareness Month is a chilling example of just hw much we have, as a nation, surrendered to autism.
News anchor: “This month is Autism Awareness Month, as the disorder affects one in every 68 children.”
Reporter Anthony Miller interviewed the parents of a seven-year-old boy on the spectrum. The story is about the support his parents have receives from family, church, and school, but the real subtle message is all about accepting autism as just the way it is for some kids.
Notice the dad saying that having a diagnosis was “kind of a relief” and “closure.”
The parents took Nathan to a psychologist who recommended speech therapy. We’re told that Nathan’s teacher has been working with autistic students for four years and has an autistic child of her own.
We’re not told just how severe Nathan is, but the parents talk about the success of having him eat dinner with them.
We don’t know if Nathan can speak, but there are no scene of him speaking, and there are picture strips in the clip. The reporter talked about “huge strides” in Nathan’s attention span and eye contact.
This is actually about surrendering to autism. We’re not supposed to ask why the rate only applies to children, as the anchor reminded everyone at the start of the story. We can’t ask why any of this to happening to our kids. Why are there so many children like this now that we have teachers specializing in autism?
Autism is being promoted as a positive thing. Autism isn’t a disorder; it’s a fact of life. We’re supposed to feel good about what’s happening for kids like Nathan. The report ended like this:
For the Adams, this simple message of love and understanding is what Autism Awareness Month is all about.
"Autistic people are people and they are special and beautiful and we need to love them and support them and encourage them," Jeff Adams said.
Prince told me that Nathan is a favorite among the staff members at the school and that teachers will come into their classroom just to give him a hug because he makes everyone's day.
And while Fox 12 in Sherman, Texas assured us that all we need is love and support for autism, coverage at Fox 26 Houston addressed the reality of the autism epidemic.
Reporter Greg Groogan interviewed Leslie Phillips, a board member of the National Autism Association, (April 6, 2017) about the serious lack of uniform educational services for the explosion in autism in Texas schools. Phillips talked about the huge disparity between the schools in Houston and the schools in Katy. In the course of the interview, Phillips noted that there are 54,000 students in Texas schools with an autism diagnosis.
That is a huge disabled population found only among young people in Texas. (In July, 2016, the Sacramento Bee put the number of autistic students in California schools at “more than 97,000.")
This is the future: More and more students on the spectrum filling our schools and a non-stop population of disabled young adults each state will have to provide for. And this is what April is all about—learning to cope with an epidemic we refuse to recognize.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.