I commend all those trying to spread the word about autism (autism spectrum disorder/ASD) by using their talents, influence, and resources.
As I was watching a program on CNN last night about the debate over causation, Hollywood personalities (with children afflicted) gave their very passionate rendition of why so many children are diagnosed and the cause of the increasing numbers. It was also suggested that there is a cure. This is very disturbing on many levels.
As a parent, I would love to believe that there is a cure in taking specific actions to change immunization timing, diet, or other methods. The fact is that this is a spectrum disorder. What works for one, does not work for all. Especially those loves who are diagnosed as having a more profound version of ASD. This type of awareness disturbs me because parents, feeling so lost in this circle, may go down a road of false hope. I am not suggesting that I don't believe in hope. Quite the contrary, I believe in such enormous potential (hope) in our children, I just don't think they will be cured.
In order to help my child, I have to admit realities. My baby will not be cured. I come from a point of "I can's"and how I can help.
- I can give him the tools to work through his deficits.
- I can love him and teach him to love.
- I can create a safe, routine, and nurturing environment to promote learning and his/her potential.
- I can look for new ways to teach through pictures, experience and others.
- I can diminish anxiety through sensory awareness, sensory diets, and instinct.
- I can treat him/her as a valuable member of our family.
- I can learn from my son's hard work, tenacity, exuberance, and integrity. He is a hero.
- I can...
From my previous post the diversity day held at my sons school was great. Stations were set up with simulations from friends who have a disability. Suggest this to your school or PTA. Stations and/or simulations consisted of: fine motor activities (buttoning or snapping a coat with oven mitts on, writing with your least dominant hand, grasping small items with tweezers), Gross motor activities (trying to make a basket while in a wheel chair), simple activities (walking blindfolded) and much more.
Be passionate without intense emotion. I noticed how intense the guests were on that CNN program last night. It came to my attention that I may look as intense while dealing with PPT's or other meetings for my son. It is hard to deny such feelings but I am beginning to realize that I am sending out the wrong message. I may not be achieving what I set out to because I look like I am just a crazy parent. I want everyone to understand the importance of my requests or actions through the passion I possess. Unfortunately, my passion may be the very thing that is discrediting me and my purpose.
Sign up to support or raise money for Autism. We participate in the Walk Now for Autism in Westchester, NY, raising funds for Autism Speaks.
April 6th: Discovery Health Channel - begins at 8 p.m EST - Unlocking Autism - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwZyHpDHLGk