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When it comes to autism spectrum disorder, I have two unique perspectives: one from my role as a pediatric physical therapist working with children with various diagnoses, including ASD, and one as the parent of an adult son with autism (he's 31).

When my son Eric was first diagnosed with autism in 1993 at the age of two, I was devastated. Though I was aware of Eric's change in behavior and loss of language, I never suspected autism. I thought children with autism were robotic, cold, and did not like to be touched, implying a lack of being able to love or be loved. And, at the time, there was still the lingering thought that "refrigerator mothers" — mothers who were emotionally distant from their children — was the cause of autism.

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