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Disney Characters Help Autistic Child

Disney Characters Help Autistic Child

Eventually Dugall started to expect that Grayson might be on the autism spectrum. However, no matter how many doctors she visited no one would give her a concrete diagnosis. Since Grayson’s smaller left eye was nonfunctioning, doctors suspected there was a problem on the genetic level, but did not know what was affected.

“He tested extremely intelligent with non-verbal things. He always got good grades,” said Dugall. “I think the medical piece we missed for the long time.”

Dugall said one reason that Grayson appeared to fly under the radar was his easy-going disposition. She said he rarely had friends but would instead “parallel play” with kids meaning he would see kids on the swing set and swing by himself near them.

As Grayson grew older, Dugall decided to start looking for help from studies examining individual genetic structures. She hoped one study could help identify a cause for Grayson’s symptoms. She started to send out DNA samples across the country in the hopes that one day that a cause for her son's symptoms would be found in Grayson's genetic code.

Courtesy Natanya Dugall
PHOTO: Grasyon Dugall has a rare genetic deletion.
Dugall said she thought it was only a remote possibility that the gene responsible for Grayson’s symptoms would be identified quickly. Instead she hoped his DNA would help another young child with similar symptoms in the future.

Act of Kindness for Autistic Child Goes Viral

But when Grayson was 13, Dugall got some unexpected news. A laboratory had identified chromosomal deletions on a specific gene in Grayson’s DNA. The test was done on samples that had been collected years earlier. After the initial find, Dugall was referred to a study run partially out of the Texas Children’s Hospital that was studying the effects of people who grew up with either chromosomal deletions or copies on this gene.

Robin Kochel, associate director for Research at the Autism Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, worked on the study and with Grayson. She said many other parents in the study had been searching for answers for the similar symptoms to Grayson.

“I think their story is similar…[Other children] had some learning differences and behavioral differences and often times some medical complication,” said Kochel. “They had a really hard time figuring out what’s going on here search operation fashion 巴甘動物可憐的笑臉 巴甘西雙版納的小灰蝶 Siemens' energy business dwarfed concentrate Alibaba public share sale crazy move Chimpanzees human personality traits avian influenza virus in penguins collected viruses to all available animal 擊翅風雨愛戀鳥宿簷下 complexity of modeling "bistable" wisdom.”