The O'Donnell family of Austin, Texas will receive a new and renovated home in just seven days thanks to "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," airing SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.While the "makeover" is going on, the whole family will be treated to an adaptive ski vacation!
The story of Patrick and Jeanette O'Donnell, the parents of six children, is a rare and heartbreaking one. Five out of their six children have been diagnosed with and suffer from multiple forms of autism that range from simple communication limitations to severe physical and social problems. ... With a salary barely adequate for a special needs family of eight, the O'Donnells are struggling, to say the least. With thirty days left until foreclosure on their home and worries about losing their children to the state if their home isn't deemed to be a safe and secure environment, the O'Donnells are desperate for a new home that is specifically suited to each of their children's very different sensory needs.
In this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the family will finally get the needed security, serenity and sensory design to help their children develop their own sense of expression and purpose. In addition, Country Music star Trace Adkins performs at a benefit for the family.
Once again, autism is in the limelight. And once again, an individual families struggles and victories represent the autism community as a whole. Will you watch this show? What's your take on the presentation of the O'Donnell family as a metaphor for the sometimes-overwhelming nature of autism spectrum disorders?