Angelina Rios has eight children; five of them have autism. The diagnoses began with her third child, Jesus. She was devastated, but the diagnosis did help explain his behavior—Jesus had verbally withdrawn, become insensitive to pain, and would have inconsolable fits. After Jesus was diagnosed, Angelina started looking at her other children and wondering if autism might explain the behavior of Juan, Justo, Angel and Angelina.
Caring for the children is a full-time job, but in the last couple of years, the Rios family has come up with an inventive kind of therapy—using music from movie soundtracks. Angelina joins Dick Gordon to talk about the improvements in her kids since she first got the idea to play them music from Star Wars.
LISTENER FOLLOW-UP: SILVER STAR POET
Poet Gary Margolis heard our interview with Army Specialist Monica Brown, a soldier who'd just won the Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan. Afterwards, he sat down and wrote a poem. He tells Dick what struck him most was how much Monica sounded like the 19-year-old women he talks with every day in his job as a mental health counselor at Middlebury College in Vermont. Gary's last book of poetry was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2002.