Some facts and figures from the Autism Society, Bethesda, Maryland
1 percent of the population of children in the U.S., ages 3-17, have an autism spectrum disorder.
1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
Fastest-growing developmental disability; 10 – 17 percent annual growth.
$60 billion annual cost, of which 60% are in adult services.
Living Life with Autism: the World Through My Eyes is the story of Marc William Pulver, a middle-aged man, who had to wait 50 years to learn he had a disorder that placed severe limitations on the way he would be able to live his life. He knew he was different but didn’t know why and seeking an answer became an obsession with him. Miraculously this knowledge had the opposite effect one might expect. Instead of allowing himself to withdraw or slip into depression, he became energized. Relieved to know that there was a reason for why he was who he was, he desperately wanted to tell his life’s story to the whole world because he felt it would give hope to others afflicted with autism.
Born a blue baby with severe physical and neurological developmental challenges, Marc describes in detail how he endured the grueling program of therapy prescribed for him by doctors at The Institutes for Achievement of Human Potential. He writes freely about his fears and fascinations growing up in a household with two older brothers, and describes the indignities suffered leaving the safety of familiar home surroundings to attend early childhood schooling experiences. The narrative goes on to reveal the difficulties of teenage life when you just don’t fit in, have a problem relating to others, and find learning an arduous task.
After high school graduation Marc describes what it was like living in the real world. He writes about some of his work experiences; and with humor born of naiveté, describes traveling with his mother and father. Marc devotes the last part of his story to revealing how he felt when he first learned he was diagnosed with autism, and in what ways it changed his life.