When Max was four, he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS—pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified. Diana and Aaron, his parents, thought the news couldn’t get any worse. But six years later, Max was re-diagnosed with autism. He is low functioning, barely verbal, and when he becomes frustrated or overwhelmed—which happens often—he hurts himself or others. Now, at twelve, Max is nearly Diana’s size, and much larger than his two younger brothers. Diana and Aaron have a difficult choice to make: do they continue treating Max with vitamins, supplements, and diet, avoiding the potential side effects of psychotropic medication, or do they admit that Max is not improving and try something new?
The decision is fraught with complexities, each side rife with potential to both help and harm Max. Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents and clinicians, Connecting with Max is the story of a modern struggle with a universal theme: a mother and father’s love for their children.