But today, life is easier. After $25,000 worth of therapy at the University of Washington Autism Center, Drew’s vocabulary and comprehension have improved. Roach and her husband, Dan, a Washington State congressman, have learned the skills for communicating with him and are now able to cope with nights when Drew runs around for three hours, opening and slamming doors, a common issue with autistic kids.
Roach also has two other healthy children and a gymnastics business with nearly 500 students. She tries not to dwell on the challenges: “I’ve stopped worrying so much about fixing Drew and started enjoying him for who he is.”