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Posts Tagged ‘Ernie Els’

Ernie Els is a man of high integrity. The Big Easy is also a fabulous golfer. But he will be just as remembered for bringing to the public’s attention the plight of autism. His seven-year-old son, Ben, is autistic, and Ernie and his wife Lisl bravely chose to reveal this and form a foundation educating the public about this tragic and debilitating illness. As a social worker and counselor with over 30 years in the field, I’ve worked with people with autism and related Asperger’s syndrome, and can tell you it adversely affects every aspect of life, both the individual’s and their family’s. There are different levels of autism, ranging from complete separation from others, such as rocking and obsessing on their fingers, to a social disorder, of varying degree, where the person is of normal or higher intelligence but has difficulty ┬ácommunicating and making friends and relationships. I’ve worked with autistic kids who can only rock in a chair all day and night, absorbed totally with themselves, and others who’ve gone on to college and work. The entire illness is now known in the DSM-IV as the Autism Spectrum, with a wide range of functionality.

There’s been much misunderstanding, fear, and prejudice around autism over the years, (more…)

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