Brent Aden, a 12-year-old autistic boy, was so elated after seeing the movie "Rain Man" that he wrote a letter to actor Dustin Hoffman, saying the film changed his view of himself and of autism.

Hoffman, who portrays an autistic savant in the movie, returned the favor and called the Fresno, Calif., boy this week.Autism affects brain chemistry and disrupts communication.

Until Brent saw the film, he hated his autism, said his mother, Cathy Aden.

Brent's letter said in part: "I feel good now. . . . I'm free now. This is good, Rain Man."