Autism was a treacherous villain for Lonnie Smith and his two sons until they began looking at it more closely.
As an infant, his oldest son, Kambel, was unusually withdrawn. By age 6, the boy had turned to “uncontrollable fits of rage.”
“It was rough in the beginning,” Smith says. “I thought maybe he was a bad kid.”
Kambel’s social difficulties led doctors to diagnose him as mentally retarded. The boy, now a 25-year-old man, was medicated to control his anger. But the drugs made him more withdrawn and increasingly depressed. The Telford family needed other ways to balance Kambel’s moods.