Monday, April 4, 2011

Who Will Care For Dana?

In many ways, Dana Eisman, 20, of Potomac, Md., is like any other young adult. She rocks out to Train, adores Glee, and eats pizza every week. And this June, like many of her peers, she?l leave school and join the real world.

But for Dana?nd her parents, Beth, who works in a doctor? office, and Rob, a business owner?hat prospect is terrifying. ? want to celebrate,?Beth says, ?ut what I feel is a knife in my heart.?lt;br />
That? because Dana is autistic. She can? hold a conversation, make eye contact, verbalize her thoughts, cross the street alone, or control herself when she? upset. Starting when she was 4?hanks to a federal law that guarantees disabled children an appropriate education?he has spent her weekdays at Ivymount, a private school for special-needs students that she loves and that has been paid for by the state and county. But because Dana turns 21 this week, that support will dry up when the school year ends, leaving her parents to agonize about the quality of life their daughter is facing.

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