AUTISM. Stop making Excuses.
The recent decision by the Supreme Court only magnifies an even bigger problem for the children with ASD. Parents are spending precious time and money on outside forces while the home therapies needed to treat ASD are being pushed aside. No matter how well informed or well meaning any campaign is, there is nothing more important than your personal obligations you owe to your child.
You, the parent or caregiver cannot rest solely upon the advice of anyone. Though you may not be an Autism, (ASD), expert, you already are, (or will quickly be), your child’s expert.
From seeking out private therapists to advocating in the schools and governments, your research and preparedness will shape your child’s life. Don’t find yourself later blaming others or having regrets because you did not choose the correct battles. You will lose your child’s war.
You don’t have to accept an insufficient Individualized Education Program, (IEP). If you do not see results or feel as though your child’s needs are not being accommodated, call meetings, bring in advocates, present your own research, show successful comparatives, or just transfer to another district. If your school district does not allow for that, you have one more choice.
Moving was, is, and will always be an invaluable option. The probability that your child with ASD is high functioning and will need the supports and resources to accommodate this diagnosis suggests that you will need to do EVERYTHING. Getting him into appropriate school systems and programs should be your primary objective. Hanging onto a job or mortgage when your child’s quality of life will ultimately suffer, long after you are gone, is unforgiveable.
Possessions can be bought again and there are jobs everywhere for those who want to work. This is the great United States of America. There are programs to ensure that no one will starve or be without as long as you strive and are willing to make sacrifices. I personally went from a rather lavish life and existence down to what may outwardly be seen as the bare minimums.
Truthfully, I am extremely rich in my life and heart now having seen what would have been considered ‘severe’ ASD turn completely around into high functioning, ‘mild’ ASD in my own son. I use those terms loosely as per a Pediatric Neurologist, they are not an actual diagnosis.
If your child was recently diagnosed, remember that it is critical to get them into an ABA, (Applied Behavior Analysis), program by the age of 3 if possible, but certainly you must have done this step by the age of 4. The percentages of lower functioning children with ASD in the 42 states that do not provide is staggering. In reality, that percentage should be no higher than 15%.
I urge all parents to understand that no matter what the title or degree or even well meaning of anyone you trust with regards to ASD, you must do your own homework. The vaccine and diet myths have clearly shown that we are dealing with ASD like herds of sheep by following without careful research and common sense. We must ask ourselves, what was in place for the autistics that have already grown into functional and outstanding adults? One on one moms/ caregivers and home based behavioral modifications. Moms are notorious for explaining what they expect then praising positive behaviors and actions. Add in ‘routines,’ learn through play and common sense and you are already on the right path!
Do not expect any fad or outside program to replace your therapy responsibilities in the home. In the majority of cases, ASD can be turned around. I know it’s hard to believe. I even distrusted. My thoughts turned to, “We have everything to gain and my son had everything to lose,” if I didn’t try.
My heart cries for the families who have spent years of precious time and money filling out statements, paying attorneys, (who were all too willing to take your money), acquiring depositions, testifying and campaigning or lobbying for issues which are now debunked, and quite possibly served as detrimental to your child. (Failure to immunize).
The possessions, people and world I left behind in order to get help pale in comparison to the miraculous and wonderful life I now lead. I am watching my former speechless, head banging, wall staring child now sing, dance, spell, read, count, play and smile! Your place was/is better served in the home doing the required therapy. Playing catch up with ASD is not fair to your child.
Stay home. Move. Do whatever you have to. Realize that whether paid or not, (regardless of titles or notoriety), anyone interacting or intervening in your child’s life is only brief. You are the eyes your child will look into, the shoulders to lean upon and the hand to hold 10, 20 30 even 50 years from now. Knowing that you did everything will make that a great place to be.
Learning/teaching through play has become a way of life. Home therapy has been like living in a ‘Mary Poppins’ movie. It is FUN! It’s not that hard but you must be there for your child 24/7. Any changes in your child’s routines by anyone will set you and your child back immeasurably. Again, I also tried the diet but fortunately never jumped on the vaccine wagon or spent anytime suing or retaliating. I realized there were only so many months, days and even minutes to do what I could do for my son.
You are the only one ultimately responsible for the shaping of your child. With ASD, you only have a small window of time so you’ll need to use it wisely.
It is never too late to truly make the sacrifices to put your child’s best interests first.