On the far side of a one-way window, a 5-year-old boy with a shock of
blond hair arranges colored blocks. When he finishes the task, his teacher
praises him, and the boy rushes off to his toys.
Similar scenes play out in preschools across the country every day,
but this calm episode carries a special significance. Eight weeks earlier,
the towheaded boy arrived at the Early Childhood Program at the University
of California–Los Angeles (UCLA), Neuropsychiatric Institute and promptly
flopped on the floor and screamed. He lashed out, hitting and kicking anyone
within range. He yelled "No!" when teachers asked him to perform simple tasks.
He fixated on power cords, spending hours—if allowed—twisting
them and plugging them in and pulling them out.
Vastag B. Autism Interventions Come of Age. JAMA. 2004;291(23):2807-2808. doi:10.1001/jama.291.23.2807