Background to my interest in teaching children with autism


            After two weeks it was agreed that Alton would again use the daily 10 milligrams of Ritalin.  Within two days back on the drug Alton reverted to complete heterosexuality, and his supposedly homosexual behaviour vanished once more.  Just to be absolutely sure, after two more weeks on his anti-homosexual medication, the Ritalin was withdrawn again and, within two more days, Alton was tramping the route of his old homosexual compulsions.  These continued and grew for the next two weeks off the Ritalin, and stopped abruptly two days after he resumed its use.  There seemed to be little doubt that the original hypothesis was confirmed.

            But was the mystery really solved?  Perhaps, as a physician might conclude, Alton was suffering from a Ritalin‑deficiency disease, or from some dark and mysterious periodic ailment in which his brain was overwhelmed by unexplained electrical forces which could only be contained by a regular dose of the antidote.

            Alton could not doubt the evidence of his experiences.  But Alton was not just one who was periodically overwhelmed by his homosexual compulsions.  He was also a very astute human being and a clear thinking business man.  He could see that, although it was what he wanted, the effect of the Ritalin was somehow artificial.  Perhaps, he reasoned, he was basically a homosexual, and that the Ritalin by some alchemy was artificially producing a heterosexual response in him.  He did not like to think of himself as artificial in any way.  Besides, he didn’t like the idea of remaining on a chemical substance for the rest of his life to create in him a reaction which was very different from that with which he was by now quite familiar.  He shared his misgivings with Felicity who, happening to be paying attention, said he could appreciate the feelings Alton expressed.  Felicity considered the issue carefully.

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