Letters for April 25
The Eagle - 4/25/2018
County needs a physician specializing in autism
April is Autism Awareness Month, and I think it fitting that we reflect on our many neighbors living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The most recent studies suggest that one in every 45 people has the disorder. One in 45! In 2015, Brazos County had a population of 215,037. That means that in 2015, there could have been more than 4,750 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder living among us. It also means that anyone reading this likely knows at least one individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
For decades, the myth that there was no effective treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder prevailed. Now we know this is wrong. Occupational therapy, speech therapy, adaptive behavior analysis, among other therapies, are helpful. Our school districts provide specialists who also are productive. But one professional direly needed is nowhere to be found in Brazos County. No medical doctor in the Brazos Valley specializes in bio-interventions for autism.
Any family needing this kind of specialized intervention must travel to Houston, Temple, Austin, or Dallas for an appointment with such a medical specialist, and such trips often are difficult with a family member who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. And before an actual meeting with these professionals takes place, a referral from the individual's primary care doctor is required, after which the patient with the disorder is put on a wait list and provided a set of forms to be completed by the patient or her/his family. By the time an actual appointment is made, more than six months typically have passed.
I am asking that CHI St. Joseph, Texas A&M University medical school, the College Station Medical Center, Baylor Scott & White, and other medical organizations in the Brazos Valley bring a medical doctor specializing in bio-interventions for autism to this county.
These children, these people, need and deserve a fuller range of services.
DEBORAH E. HORN
Licensed clinical psychologist
Two large dogs were rescued because people cared
At around 1:30 p.m. on April the 6, a remarkable event occurred at the busy intersection of Harvey Road and Earl Rudder Freeway. Two very large and very muddy dogs had somehow become trapped right in the middle of the intersection. Lost and frightened, and surrounded on all sides by speeding cars, the dogs attempted to walk across the road -- and that's when time seemed to stop.
Suddenly, drivers actually began slowing down. Some even came to a complete stop in the middle of the road, got out of their cars and began stopping and redirecting traffic. Others formed a human net of hands to try and rescue the dogs. Within minutes, thanks to the heroic efforts of a lot of caring humans, the dogs safely were captured and brought to a local shelter where they now are available for adoption.
For just a few tense moments in time, on that day, at that place, schedules were interrupted, phones went unanswered, and people cared.