Disabled adults, likely to outlive parents, face unclear future
By Karen Auge, The Denver Post
Slick stood patiently in a Medicine Horse stall, letting the brush glide over his haunches, the motion at once calming the animal and producing a smile of pure boyish bliss on the 50-year-old face of the man wordlessly stroking him.
More than 40 years ago, that man, Richard Chestor, was one of the first children diagnosed in Colorado with autism.
As an infant, he stiffened when held. He was so repulsed by human contact that even being fed drove him to fits, said his mother, Geri.
He never spoke more than a few dozen words, each painstakingly taught by his mother. It took years, thousands of dollars and dozens of doctors before someone put a name to what was wrong with Geri Chestor's little boy.
That diagnosis — autism — was seldom heard back then.