For Healthcare, Please Take a Number
Funding cuts, healthcare shortage harm N.M.’s autistic children
When 8-year-old Adam goes to a new place, it can be exciting, almost overwhelming. A visit to a Mexican diner is more than enough to set him off. His head snaps left and right, attempting to take in the scene. His hands begin working, moving up and down excitedly until he is nearly lifting himself off the ground with his “flapping,” as his mother, Heather LeDoux, calls it.
“I have to tell him, ‘No flying at the table,’” LeDoux says. “What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to get him to be aware of how he feels in that moment.”
Adam was born with 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a clean bill of health. But from the moment she took him home, LeDoux – a first-time mother living in her hometown of Questa – was certain something was different.
“I took Adam to the doctor probably every day for the first two weeks that we were home because he would just scream,” says LeDoux. “Out of a 24-hour day, Adam screamed like almost 18 hours.”
Christian Marquez, writing for Searchlight New Mexico, covers New Mexico’s healthcare crisis.