Beautiful Minds Wasted

How not to squander the potential of autistic people

IN AMERICA in 1970 one child in 14,000 was reckoned to be autistic. The current estimate is one in 68—or one in 42 among boys. Similarly high numbers can be found in other rich countries: a study in South Korea found that one in 38 children were affected.

Learn More

Nonverbal Teen With Autism Speaks With The Help Of An Electronic Device

A nonverbal teen with autism has found his voice.

19-year-old Neal Katz has gone from not being able to speak to being able to translate his thoughts through an electronic device, as he demonstrates in the CBS video above. Katz is now able to perform tasks such as order in a restaurant and go to the grocery store.

Katz’s mother, Elaine Hall, said that her son was turned down from nearly every camp because his disabilities were too severe until Shalom Institute, a Jewish overnight camp in Malibu, accepted him.

“I work here in Malibu every Thursday,” Katz told CBS through his machine. “I plant trees, pick fruits… put down drip irrigation.”

Hall said that her son’s electronic device, as well as the workers at the Shalom Institute, have helped him express himself and learn through interaction with nature.

Katz has recently been offered a full-time job at an organic farm.

“He loves it. It’s given him so much pride. They pay him. He saves his money. He’s so proud of who he is and what he’s become as a result of the Shalom Institute,” Hall said.

Explore The Gersh Academy – School Programs for Children on the Autism Spectrum
Imagemap alt Facebook Twitter