It was my father who gave me my first gut-level comprehension of the word ‘autism.’ ‘From the Greek for ‘self,’’ he said. ‘The same root as ‘autonomous,’ ‘automatic’: That which is self-contained, self-directed, self-motivated.’ … When had Anne-Marie shared anything with me in the past year? When had she last responded to me, connected with me? If there was anyone there at all behind that mournfully empty face, she was not reaching out to us in any way that I could see (Maurice, 1993, p. 32-33).
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The use of ABA therapy to teach child autism has changed the way we look at treatment for these individuals. In the past, some parents were told that these children did not learn and will not function in society. Limited options were given to parents of children with autism such that most children were institutionalized.