To lose a child is tragic; to lose a child who still lives is beyond comprehension. Yet this is the experience of the mothers and fathers who tell their very personal stories in this important book. Their children, born healthy and happy, lost their minds to a mysterious disorder with no known cause or cure: Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). Also called late-onset autism, this malady differs from typical autism in that it afflicts children after one to three years of apparently normal development, and long-term deterioration may lead to even poorer behavioral and developmental functioning. How do families respond to such ever-present loss? In When Autism Strikes, the parents of eight such children from around the world present their own stories, in their own words. They describe their first suspicions, their struggles to find a cause, and the means by which they cope, day to day. Heartbreaking yet inspiring, this courageous document brings to light a scientific mystery and a human tragedy.