My Autistic Son: A Story of Hope
09/20/2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT
What she became was single-minded in her quest to find help for Evan, an odyssey she recounts in Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. It's a story of endless doctor visits, hours of Internet searches ("the University of Google," McCarthy calls it) and a marriage – to actor-director John Asher – strained beyond repair. But ultimately, McCarthy says, "my story is about hope."
Indeed, after rigorous therapy at UCLA and some controversial alternative treatments – including removing wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar from his diet – Evan, now 5, is vastly improved. Though he remains on anti-seizure medication, "he's in a typical school – he's incredibly social," says McCarthy. Cured? "I think Evan is in recovery," says Sarah Clifford Scheflen, a speech-language pathologist at UCLA and Evan's therapist since 2005. With autism, a neurological disorder that impairs ability to communicate and relate to others, "early intervention is huge," Scheflen says, "and Evan received that."
In an excerpt from her book and an interview with West Coast Deputy Bureau Chief Bryan Alexander (to whom she also opens up about the new man in her life, Jim Carrey), Evan's mother recalls their journey.