The story

Heather Moores and her 4-year-old son, Julian, sat in a waiting room at a pediatrician's office.

Julian, who has autism, was goose-stepping and counting every coat hook on the wall aloud. He started roaring like a lion. Moores smiled at her son, then noticed the horrified looks on other people's faces.

"People do not understand," she said. "To them, as bizarre as his actions might look, for us, they're a blessing. For us, it means he's enjoying himself and happy. No one understands that. They just see an out-of-control child. They don't understand this is a good day, when there isn't screams upon screams."

On the second World Autism Awareness Day, the search for a cure continues, and major court decisions have helped sort out the theories connected to the mysterious developmental disorders. Public knowledge and acceptance of autism and the difficulties the families face may be growing, as some iReporters told CNN.

But that's little comfort to a parent whose child's behavior can range from quirky to violent. Read full article »

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