“A Report from Parents on How Their Children's Lives Have (10 pages)

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J. Gordon May 6, 2004 Testimony - 2 -

Prepared for the Committee on Government Reform for the May 6


, 2004 Hearing

“Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Update of Federal Government Initiatives and Revolutionary

New Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Diseases”

Julie J. Gordon.
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243


Founder & Director of MUMS National Parent-To-Parent Network
Founding Member and Board member of The International Hyperbaric Medical Association
Parent of a 30 year old daughter with Cerebral Palsy & Autism

Before the
Committee on Government Reform
United States House of Representatives

May 6, 2004


Dear Chairman Burton and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me
to testify and represent the parents of this nation who want to share with you the remarkable
results of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for their children with Autism and brain damage.

When my daughter, Jessica, was born in 1973 her brain was damaged from loss of blood during
delivery through a slit in the umbilical cord. She was born dead, resuscitated and given ice cold
blood transfusions as was I. As her damaged brain swelled the seizures began. In those days
babies like Jessica went to institutions, not home with their parents. In spite of the resistance
from hospital staff, I chose to take her home. The Federal Law would not be passed for another
two years even allowing a child like Jessica into the school system. We had many battles ahead
of us and today I am fighting for the babies yet to be born so that they and their families are
spared what we had to endure and are still enduring.

I gave up my teaching career to care for her. When she was four years old I gave birth to healthy,
gifted twin girls. Divorce is much higher in families with children with disabilities and only the
strong marriages survive. Mine did not. The girls and I were forced to go on SSI, welfare, food
stamps and Medicaid. It was frustrating and degrading to have two college degrees and to be
living below the poverty level and accepting government help with no alternatives. Disabilities in
a family are devastating not only emotionally, but financially which in turn makes more people
dependent on the government.

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