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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The MacNeil Reports Begin

PBS has started posting the Robert MacNeil NewsHour reports on autism:

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

The segment focuses on his ASD grandson. At one point, he has a heartbreaking conversation with his 10-year-old granddaughter:
NEELY: I just don't like how autism affects the family. It just - it seems like it takes up too much time, and you usually get really bored of autism, because it's in your life all the time.

ROBERT MACNEIL: What things would you do if you didn't have a brother with autism?

NEELY: It just seems that a lot of money is spent on Nick's vitamins and Nick's doctors' appointments and Nick's everything, and it would change if we didn't have to get all that stuff.

ROBERT MACNEIL: I see. Are you worried about Nick?


ROBERT MACNEIL: Tell me what you're worried about, about him.

NEELY: Well, if he's going to stay autistic for the rest of his life.

ROBERT MACNEIL: Yes. And what would that mean, if he were?

NEELY: I don't know. It would get harder when he gets older, and there wouldn't be as much services to help him. Sometimes I worry that he might get lost because he doesn't really know what to do.

ROBERT MACNEIL: When you think about the future with Nick, what do you feel about that?

NEELY: Well, I hope that I -- I hope that he doesn't have to stay with me, kind of, and that I hope that he gets healed soon. Sometimes when other people, they -- their lives seem perfect, and when yours -- when yours -- you have to do something that you don't like, you don't usually want to do it, and though your autistic sibling does, and it seems unfair. And it seems like they get what they want and you don't.

ROBERT MACNEIL: Well, one of the things about life is that we all learn we have to do things we don't want to do, whether there's autism around or not.

NEELY: Yes, but it seems like it happens too much. I mean, there's going to be a few times when that happens, but it seems with an autistic brother or sister, it always happens.