I take real exception to the language you used in the opening paragraph of your article about Peter Hotez and his family's experience raising a daughter with autism. I have a six year old son with autism and I would never, in my darkest moments, want to convey to anyone that: "Having a child like [Oliver] is. ... debilitating, dispiriting, demoralizing." Public misconceptions and fear of people with autism is perpetuated by the mass media that insists on characterizing life with autism as Shankar Vedantam did in this article. Furthermore, when a parent first learns his child has autism and searches the internet for information he will be bombarded by what is continually portrayed as a tragedy. In my mind, this is the real tragedy. My son is mostly non-verbal and he struggles with many things in life and probably always will. I can think of many, many words to describe him and our life together but the ones you chose are not among them. Dr. Hotez may be hoping for the day "when the girl comes out of" his daughter. But I am waiting for the day when people begin to see that people with autism can, and do, bring real blessings into the lives of those who love them.