Having recently spent a great deal of time searching the internet for all things autism, I am feeling immense gratitude for the hopeful attitude that is finally beginning to take over the autism landscape, and particularly for the hope that parents find each day at The Autism Treatment Center of America.

Eight years ago when I began this work, I heard so many hopeless statements about autism. As I spent time traveling for work or to see my family, I often had the opportunity to talk about my work, and I invariably heard the following responses:

“Wow, your work must be so difficult, knowing that there’s nothing you can really do to help these kids.”

“You actually believe that children can recover from autism?”

“You do know that anyone who supposedly recovered from autism must have been misdiagnosed, right?”

I patiently and persistently offered the idea that we can help children with autism to recover and lead typical lives, and people consistently responded with hopelessness and pessimism – or simply with polite laughter, dismissing hope without even considering it.

But now, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, the public opinion out there in the ether is beginning to reflect a hopeful perspective toward the future of children on the autism spectrum. It’s finally beginning to be popular to believe in limitless possibilities for our children – rather than condemning them to a future of institutionalization.

Every day, with each child I meet, I see hope – from the first words of a five-year-old, to the first conversation of a 25-year-old – to the first day of school for a little girl who once smeared her poo to get her way. Finally, hope is out there – like the first glow of sunlight at dawn – brightening to fill the entire day. Just imagine the possiblities…