Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stop downplaying stories on autism

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As the sister of a boy suffering from severe autism, I am disappointed by the coverage of the Cure Autism Now Run through Potomac Village (‘‘Autism Run a booming July 4th tradition,” July 11 article) and the issue of autism in general.

One in 150 children in the United States have some form of autism, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think autism has more social relevance than an overabundance of gypsy moths — a story that made the front page, while the autism run⁄walk story sits on A-35.

A June 20 article (‘‘Mom seeks others in her shoes”), which mentions my brother and stepmother and appeared in the People and Places column on A-3, cited the loneliness and frustration that mothers of autistic children feel. Too bad this mere half-column article was pitifully lumped in with graduation announcements and upcoming events.

The attention to this issue is both embarrassing and insulting. Those affected by autism, such as my brother and family, do not deserve to have their struggles downplayed.

Allison Cohen, Boyds