Just Friends: A Father’s View of His Son’s Relationships

Social service agencies have a good read on my 16-year-old son Alex. Somewhere in the photocopied, crooked lines of one of his service plans, for instance, is the line, “Alex Stimpson doesn’t have a best friend.” Alex does make connections. He does ask for his little brother Ned, for his...

The Regular Tiger: A Father Deals With His Son’s Obsessions

A little past 10 on a Tuesday night my 16-year-old son Alex jackknifes up in his bed, throws down his blanket, looks at me, raises his arm and moans, “Tiger.” “I don’t have it, Alex. Did you have it in here?” Does he mean the $5, four-inch tiger or the $4, four-inch one with his...

Cut Out for Him: A Father on His Son’s Employment Future

My 15-year-old son Alex (diagnosed PDD-NOS) goes to a special-needs school where some students are old enough to work. A few years ago Alex’s teacher told me about when she approached a local thrift shop about students volunteering there. “We don’t hire the handicapped,” the clerk...

The Costs of Raising a Teenage Son with Autism

Researchers at the Children’s Institute, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the University of Rochester, NY, studied the connection between autism and the hemorrhage of cash a family endures when one of their own has the condition. “It’s a disorder that seems to have an impact on...