5kits zhao

Calendar

January 2011
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Pages

Archives

Blogroll






 

Autism | A day in the life of the Schwenker twins, their working mom and dad, and Barkley the dog | Robin Nelson

MARIETTA, Ga.—It’s 6:32 a.m. on a school day in the Schwenker home. Jennifer Schwenker is doing her best to get 7-year-old twin sons Sam and Ben dressed, fed—and diapered—before they head to Garrison Mill Elementary School in Marietta, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.

Sam happily chirps—but not in words. Ben flits about the kitchen, flapping his hands while singing “Ooaahh” in an uninhibited, angelic voice. Both boys were diagnosed with autism when they were 18 months old, leaving Jennifer and husband Michael bewildered. They’ve read mountains of books and handouts to learn about autism, but daily life is never what they expect.

“Raising autistic children is like finding yourself unexpectedly living in a foreign land,” says Jennifer. “They’re locked deep inside their own world. We can’t understand them, even if part of their brain understands us.”

A large board in their living room displays dozens of simple pictures and corresponding words. “It’s a PECS board, a picture exchange communication system,” Jennifer explains. Since neither boy speaks more than a few words, Jennifer and Michael use the simple pictures to help their sons express their wants and needs.

Read in Full:  http://www.worldmag.com/articles/16735



Leave a Reply

*