“In 1965, aged 2 years old, I was admitted for a three day hospital observation at St Elmo’s Private Hospital in Brunswick, Victoria. I was to be tested for deafness and Leukemia (I had constant infections, easy bruising, bleeding gums, my eyelashes would come out in clumps). I also had a stomach tensing and compulsive coughing tic (Tourette’s) that compelled me to the point I was coughing blood, appeared deaf, stared through everyone and everything and showed no response to pain. My parents were told I wasn’t deaf and didn’t have Leukemia. According to my father, the doctors had, instead, assessed that I was psychotic. In 1965 the 2-5 year old children who today would be diagnosed with autism, were often instead deemed ‘psychotic’.” – Donna Williams
Wow, I never knew autistic children back in the day were classified psychotic and stuck in an institution. Click on Donna’s name above to read her story. Apparently she’s written books so she sounds like a pretty well known person in the world of autism. I only wish I’d found her site sooner, but I’m glad I found it. After reading her story, I can really see how much farther we’ve come as far as diagnosis.