xi Acknowledgments This book would not exist without the haven we were provided by the Ucross Foundation, in Ucross, WY, when we were writing the original edition. In the time we spent there, we found the opportunity to write, to think, and to talk, far from our clinical practices, our chaotic homes, and, of course, our 6 much- loved children. To write this book, we interviewed a number of specialists and experts in fields ranging from special education to speech pathology. Many parents and grandparents generously agreed to be interviewed for this book and spent time and trouble detailing for us the complex and often very moving stories of the roads they had traveled with their children. Their accounts enriched our understanding of the subject, and we feel that their voices, as included in the text, enrich and illuminate everything we have written. They are the real experts, and the real champions. All of the names of the children have been changed, along with certain identifying details we have taken some liberties in updating diagnoses and occasionally creating some composite accounts. We thank the children and their families. Many professional colleagues took time from their busy schedules to talk with us about their experience and to read sections of the manuscript. This book draws on many specialized fields, and we are not experts in any of them. As practicing general pediatricians, we send our patients to the experts we most trust for further evaluation and advice, and we were incredibly fortunate that many of these same experts—those who actually evaluate and treat our patients and those whose writings and teachings have meant most to the parents we see and to us as well—were willing to help make this book more accurate, more representative, and more authoritative. We want to thank the many American Academy of Pediatrics experts who reviewed the content in this updated edition for technical and medical accuracy. We would also like to express our gratitude to colleagues who helped with the first edition of the book, some of whom may not even remember those conversations, and to the many friends and colleagues who have helped shape our thinking since 2003. The late Elsa Abele, professor of speech and language pathology at Boston University, was a tireless advocate for all quirky kids and a great inspiration. The staff at the Autism/Asperger Network (AANE) has been an enormous source of support and knowledge over the years since publication of the first Quirky_Kids_final-pages.indd 11 Quirky_Kids_final-pages.indd 11 10/19/20 10:07 AM 10/19/20 10:07 AM
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