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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Understanding A Son With Asperger’s, With Help From Clinton And Bush

photo
Tyler, Bill Clinton and Ron in Little Rock, Ark. (Photo via National Journal, courtesy of Clinton Foundation/Nelson Chenault)Tyler and George W. Bush in Dallas. (Photo via National Journal, courtesy of the office of George W. Bush)The Fourniers meet President George W. Bush in 2003. (Photo via National Journal, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Tina Hager)

As a longtime journalist, former White House correspondent Ron Fournier is used to dissecting the complicated presidents and policies he’s covered for the Associated Press.

But for years, he simply couldn’t understand his own young son Tyler. That is, until two former Presidents – Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – helped him learn how to accept his son’s autism.

Fournier writes about his emotional journey in a much-commented-upon personal essay in National Journal, titled “How Two Presidents Helped Me Deal with Love, Guilt and Fatherhood.”

And Fournier says he’s worried, like other Asperger’s parents are, about how the recently-announced decision to drop Asperger’s as a specific autism diagnosis might affect his son’s ability to get assistance in school.

He writes about that worry in a piece called “New Asperger’s Rule: ‘What Does This Mean for My Son?’” and he talks about it in this audio clip:

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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