Autism and Realities

Realities~

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. 

No cure~
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.

To begin, I start the list with: I can….
  • 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…

Actions~

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.

 

 

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0 thoughts on “Autism and Realities

  • July 17, 2009 at 1:18 am
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    This type of thing is what comes at me most from those who know about autism only by what’s on tv or something they read in the news, the “cures”. What you said is very true about it being a spectrum disorder. This also lends to the idea that autism will not look the same on everyone simply because we are all different and since autism is a disorder that affects such broad areas of a person as whole, then it would be hard to come up with a cure all for something so, well, broad.

    I don’t even watch the stuff on the tv about autsim anymore because it’s a lot of false hope and usually costs too much money for the normal person (non celeb). I think every parent of a child with autism, or on the spectrum, should always have hope but to have this kind of thing thrown at you as something so easy and sensible that you should have been doing it years ago and the fact that you didn’t may be why your child is still living with autistic characteristics to translate into you are a parent who’s not doing what they should. This very cruel.

    I am to the point now with doctors and experts that I feel they are just saying things for noteriety and to experiment. The last appointment I took my daughter to with my son for updates in evaluations for him (SLI) and recommendations for her, I was given some information that left a bad taste in my mouth and the attitudes in general of those on the “team” made me feel they were too eager to use both my kids as guinea pigs. No thanks!!

    As far as the stations thing, last summer my kid’s school district trained with the Teaach program (or something like that) and it was a bit of the same. Well come next school year I kept waiting to see my daughter’s teachers use the stuff and they didn’t. They always talked about how much they learned and how great it was and how Jessica learns so fast, is eager to work, and is so smart but to me it was a waste. I mean I guess it is some good for some of the students but to me if your child isn’t a savant, I always feel that they are snubbed. There is no interest taken in them.

    My short time in the education field (special ed at that), I can say your persistence and such is good and don’t stop with it. Don’t try to appease for the sake of saying they won’t do all they can because they feel you are overzealous. In essence, if they aren’t doing as much as they should, to your standards, now then they definitely won’t if you ease up. Keep doing what you do, but I wouldn’t rely solely on them for what you child needs from all aspects of his life.

    School and so called professionals are just a small group of the contributors to your child’s success in life.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm
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    I am glad to read a blog post that expresses the views that you express. It seems that there are too few voices challenging the idea that there is a cure. I love your “I can” statements and I think that they are a wonderful way to empower those with ASD and those people who support and love them. Thanks for having the courage to express your views. 🙂

    I didn’t see the show, but I can only imagine the scene. I find it disturbing that so many are of the belief that ASD is curable through diet, medicine, change in vaccination schedule, or even more alarming, not vaccinating. My son has Asperger’s and we have sought out many types of therapy for the things that present challenges for him. None have cured him, but many have helped him learn coping skills to handle the situations that make him uncomfortable.

    He was born with Asperger’s. My husband has it too. It wasn’t caused by vaccinations. Maybe in some people, the vaccinations or other factors such as a food allergy make the symptoms of ASD worse. If that is the case, then it makes perfect sense to seek alternatives to the typical diet or the typical vaccination schedule. Those symptoms that lessen when the allergen is removed should not be confused with curing that person of Autism. Maybe that person wasn’t autistic to begin with. It seems irresponsible to me to suggest that removing these foods or vaccinations will cure those with ASD or prevent ASD in others.

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