In this business we never know what kind of reaction a story is going to get. I must say I was very touched with the reaction on my recent story on autism.
The reaction I'm referring to isn't from viewers, but rather one of the 10-year-old autistic boys I featured in the story.
In case you missed the story,(Search for autism on the home page) I talked with Amy Soderstrom of Greenville who has 10-year-old twin boys, Isaac and Samuel, both diagnosed with autism when they were around two-years-old.
The story, Living With Autism, was meant to show what daily life is like for families with children who have the developmental disability, and the challenges of treating the disorder and seeking out reliable information.
The story turned out to be an eye-opener in many ways. I can tell you most people I talked with here at the station said they had no idea of how intense and non-stop life can be for families with children who have autism. Another co-worker who actually works with autistic kids said the story was dead-on. And viewers weighed in here on the website with varying comments. Some said their school offers great support for their autistic child, others feel their school doesn't do quite enough. But the most amazing reaction came from Isaac.
I got a letter from Amy after we were at their house to shoot the story. I asked her if I could share some of it here and she said yes. The letter included a story and some art work from Isaac about our visit, talking about what we did, and referring to us as "nice people." Amy included a note to say "It is very rare for Isaac to share memories. Thanks for giving him an occasion to remember."
Indeed, the story taught me much about autism.