THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS OF A BUDDHIST AMONG BAPTISTS
Reverend Father Antonio
Hernández, O.M.D., A.B.F.
Founder of the Independent Order of American Buddhist Fathers
Book on Autism By Rev Antonio Hernandez out now:
Duty To Retreat:
The Stories of Tourette's Disease and
Disease and Asperger's Autism ISBN # 159-286-9262, trade-size paperback,
248 pages, $19.95
ago, a deep desperation was threatening to engulf my life, and ultimately
end it. A dozen psychiatrists in as many years had no idea what
was wrong with me, and the medicos were even worse. The ignorance
I had to face was unendurable. No one helped.
spotted an article in the early 1990s about Mozart and a thing called
Tourette's Syndrome (TS), which is really Tourette's Disease, my
interest was tremendous.
An endocrinologist had written two papers on Mozart's symptoms and
personality- it seemed he was writing about me. I devoured everything
I could find on Tourette's. The research lead me to read Oliver
Sacks' books, especially The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
I also read David Comings' Tics and Human Behavior. It was like
a divine revelation.
I KNEW WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME!
Click On image To Buy at Amazon
was missing was a competent doctor. It took me some years to find one.
The diagnosis was immediate. When I looked at the notes I had compiled
over the years, I realized there was a good book in there someplace.
The manuscript was begun immediately, and early versions were floating
around by 1998. But my troubles were not over.... Certain
personality characteristics and symptoms persisted; they were not explained
by TS. After some accidental stumbling across information (it seemed
to me that was the only way to get it) I found that a link existed between
TS and a thing called Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Asperger's Syndrome,
which is really Asperger's autism, was found to be the cause of my other
problems. In fact AS seemed to be the basic definition of my entire
Tourette's Disease is an insidious neurological muscular-movement disorder,
cause unknown. Its primary feature consists of tics, which are involuntary
movements and noises. These tics can include obscenities. TS is deeper
and more complex than anyone can imagine, which is why I wrote my book.
Among TS sufferers in the past, there are André Malraux, Samuel
Johnson, and today several film stars are revealing their battle with
the disease. It is not generally a degenerative disease, nor is it terminal.
Asperger's autism is a mild form of autism, sometimes called "high
function" autism because people afflicted with it can lead normal,
productive lives. Most if not all AS sufferers also demonstrate genius-level
intelligence and multiple talents in totally unrelated fields. Albert
Einstein is one of the most famous of all high-function autism sufferers,
and he demonstrated TS symptoms as well. All this lead me to understand
that TS and AS might be manifestations of the same disease. It was a
matter of a few months to add chapters to my book that deal with autism.
I wanted a book so very badly- I am a hardcore bibliophile, but nothing
was on the shelves that really hit the spot. Thus it struck me that
only I could write the kind of book I hoped would be available. My book,
No Duty To Retreat: The Stories of Tourette's Disease and Asperger's
Autism, is somewhat like a long letter to a dear friend. It is much
more than that: it illustrates the histories of these conditions, reveals
some surprising statistics, offers self-help advice in all areas of
life, and is just plain fun to read. My self references are purely to
illustrate points about the illnesses and my battles with them, and
everything in that book is true.
Now the BIG DREAM is that any and all who can benefit from my book will
read it. It is my fervent prayer that all who read it will be touched
deeply by the facts, as I was, and that people will come away from the
book with lots of food for thought. In the end, that is all any good
author and scientist can hope to achieve.
© Most Rev Antonio Hernandez OMD Oct 2003
email: suriak@ yahoo.com
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(a.k.a. Tourette's Syndrome or TS) is a neurological disease classified
as a muscular movement disorder. Related to it are other neurological
movement disorders such as the dystonias, chorea, myoclonus, and Parkinson's
Disease. Though they are not of the same base disease, all are classified
as "movement disorders", formally called "dystonia".
THE AUTHOR'S BOOK delves deeply into the histories of TS and AS, giving
the reader a comprehensive overview of past findings and attitudes.
The book provides a handy list of symptoms and other support-related
facts; the good doctors, Georges Gilles de la Tourette and Hans Asperger,
are profiled- along with several famous historical figures who suffered
from either TS, AS and/or both conditions. Finally, there are handy
sections on support awareness, self-help, seeking professional counsel,
dealing with schools, and a good resource section.
THE BOOK has the feel of
a long letter written to a dear friend; it is both informative and amusing.
Devoid of any stuffy, academic rhetoric and excessive medical terms,
the book is well suited to patient, interested layperson and physician
alike. Finally, the book explores a stunning new theory, which is proposed
by the author:
COULD TOURETTE'S DISEASE, AUTISM AND THE DYSTONIAS BE MANIFESTATIONS
OF THE SAME BASIC DISEASE? Needless to say, AS and TS have many things
in common. Good ways of dealing with both conditions are essentially
identical. Ways of coping include: Stress reduction. Set routines for
everyday living. A sympathetic, knowledgeable, open-minded physician.
A healthy support network- preferably a loving, understanding family.
Education, education, and MORE education! A search on the internet will
glean many good pages dealing with TS, AS and related subjects. Below
are links to the best sites available: The National Tourette Syndrome
Association of America (TSA) The Autism Society of America (ASA) We
Move.org is a website dealing with the various dystonias. FAAAS (Families
of Adults Affected by Asperger's Syndrome) OOPS! Wrong Planet is a comprehensive
database about TS, AS and many other wonderful things.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The Most Reverend Father Antonio
Hernández is a Zen Buddhist priest and founder of a new branch of Buddhism,
the Order of Independent American Buddhist Fathers. He was ordained
a Buddhist monk in 1993; that same year he was approved to begin his
medical practice as Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Prior to taking religious
vows, Rev. Fr. Hernández worked in law enforcement for many years. He
was also trained as a certified nurse's assistant, special education
program assistant, and also worked as an optician (his favorite trade)
for many years. He is also a self-trained cultural and forensic anthropologist,
having made many contributions to the fields.
READ, STUDY, LEARN, SHARE WHAT YOU LEARN, AND GOOD LUCK
Previously by Antonio:
The Importance Of Dog Collars
Praise of Hobos
Last Days of Pope
We Need Spirituality
Fat Gay-Goth Wedding
Read also the story of an eleven year old kid with
autism in Out To Get
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