Ron Suskind

Journalist Ron Suskind’s son Owen appeared to be developing normally until about age three when, he says, the child “started to vanish.” He began to lose speech, had trouble sleeping and was crying uncontrollably. He was eventually diagnosed with “regressive autism.” In his new book “Life, Animated,” Suskind describes how the family was able to reach Owen through the boy’s passion for Disney films.

Ron Suskind, author of "Life, Animated" and former senior national affairs editor for the Wall Street Journal

  • Chris OConnell

    Not to sully this segment with the sad, endless vicious cycle of the prior segment, but I saw Ron Suskind on Real Time last week, He made some excellent, incisive comments about Israel. As a fan of his writing, I really appreciated that.

  • Linda Rusten

    My autistic son died tragically 4 years ago at age 31. As an adult he identified so much with the main character of Happy Feet, as an outcast, that he developed a crush on both Elijah Wood and esp. Brittany Murphy. He wrote fan letters to her, and we were so worried of a breakdown when she died. Through his life, he had memorized most of the movies he watched over and over again. I’m so glad to have heard this program and just ordered his book. Thank you!

  • susankl

    Disney nailed it: the obverse? Disney took universal truths and lay them onto characters — the autism kids pick up on those “personality traits” for their own use. Those Disney movies tapped into our fundamental “truths.” susan in berkeley

  • shira

    Our 3 YO daughter was also diagnosed with regressive autism. She stopped talking and making eye contact at 2.5. Few months later, we are thrilled to see her talking up a storm, making eye contact about 70% of the time and still improving, and starting to socialize with children her age through imaginary and active play.
    This remarkable change started to occur after, in consultations with her Dr. (Michelle Perro, Marin County, CA), we switched her to a very tight (no slips whatsoever!!!) dairy and gluten-free diet, put her on a special vitamin and mineral supplements, on DHA, and switched from bi-lingualism to English-only.
    There is still some work to do, but we got our daughter back and we can see her have a totally “normal”, independent life, something we saw slipping away only few months ago. I realize each child is different and one fix doesn’t fit all, but so many parents I talked with are not willing to give the diet / supplement option a real chance. They are sure it won’t work, that the solution can’t be so technical, they say it will be too hard to put their picky-eater on a restrictive diet, or they loosely tried it for a couple of weeks and didn’t see much of a difference.
    In summary: we found the right doctor (most regular pediatricians are still behind on integrative approaches to autism), we were persistent with the diet and supplements, we did genetic and food allergy testing that confirmed the need for the special diet and supplements, and we also started speech and occupational therapy which amplified the huge leap made by switching to the diet.

  • Roma Heerhartz

    Another ‘Driveway Moment’…I couldn’t stop listening, couldn’t even turn off the ignition for fear of missing something being discussed by Dr. Krasny & Mr. Suskind. And I don’t even have kids! Gotta get on line & get the Suskind book…NOW! There’s so much I don’t/didn’t know. Thx to both of you for offering still another insight into varied lives.

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