How ‘Shock Therapy’ Is Saving Some Children With Autism

Apoorva Mandavilli:

Kyle starts to bounce on the balls of his feet. Just a small bounce at first, but higher and faster and louder as the minutes pass. He twirls the long shoelace of his toy, a tiny teal Converse sneaker speckled with white stars. When his mother comes back to check on him, he’s too agitated to even look at her. He walks away, turns his head and nips at the underside of his upper arm, then bounces some more, winding and unwinding the lace. He jiggles the handle of a door labeled “ECT Suite,” trying to get in, but it’s locked.

Finally, it’s time. Melinda Walker, the nurse he adores, comes out of the room and gives him a hug. After a brief conversation with him, she says softly, “Come on in, Kyle.”