In a rebroadcast of This American Life airing beginning this Friday, Chicago-based writer and psychologist David Royko and his wife Karen discuss the decision they faced to place their severely autistic son in a residential facility. Excerpt: “On a typical day our son Ben empties the contents of cereal boxes and egg cartons onto the floor. He opens car doors while we’re driving. He walks into traffic. He throws himself up against the sliding glass door in our den…. He dwarfed everyone in the house but me, which is why my wife Karen’s arms are covered in bruises, scratches and scars….”
By David Royko
A pleasant/unpleasant surprise.…
I just got word from the radio program This American Life that they’ll be re-running our episode from 2007, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (it comes in the second half-hour of the show, "Unconditional Love"), centered around Ben's move from home into residential. Pleasant, because I never would have thought it would still be resonating so fully a dozen year later. Unpleasant, because I never would have thought it would still be resonating so fully a dozen year later. We STILL are far away from figuring this severe autism-thing out and how to treat it — effectively.
Anyway, it’ll be airing on Public Radio beginning this Friday. The funny thing about our modern age is that, as I was told some time back by Public Radio’s RadioLab when I asked them when an episode I participated in would be airing, they said, “Oh, sometime in the future. We don’t really pay attention to that – we get most of our listeners via the podcast.”
So, if you’re in my general demographic and still, um, “tune in” to terrestrial radio, there you go — this American Life is locatable on your local FM dial. But, truth is, anyone can hear it via podcast (see link), now and any time over the past dozen years. Man. Choices choices choices. It’s enough to make your head spin. Or mine anyway.
Listen in: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/317/unconditional-love/act-two-0. (19 minutes)
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