I must preface this by stating at the time of this Craigslist post, we were living in Washington State…then ranked 48th in Autistic resources. This was the first of several blogs directed at an over 100 mile radius that returned only ONE private Occupational Therapist, (though SHE was AWESOME and taught me HOW to research…which I will explain soon)! We then endured almost another YEAR with NO Speech Therapy, (11 speech evaluations), numerous waiting lists… I STILL have my WA. Cell number and STILL have not been called BUT any accommodating speech therapy…though we did get approved for an Augmentative communication device! Oh! AND with our non-verbal son, we were going to ‘get’ ONLY 6 Private Speech therapy sessions for life, that’s it! We were performing free concerts at statewide events to raise awareness and funding for Autistic kids and the Governor even had an exemplary letter read for our efforts, BUT it did not get anything offered to the baby! Interesting is that the govenrnor’s platform speech included, “no child in Washington State shall have to move to obtain suitable resources”. Even if you would define suitable as ‘meager’ or ‘inappropriate’ her statement STILL wasn’t true.
I went through 3 divorce attempts, (pro-se). but they dragged until I was so broke, (no child support yet AND I had three kids in the home), I would agree to reconcile for the sake of mere survival. I had quit my own businesses to do therapy in the home with the baby and was selling all of my jewelry, high end furniture, furs, etc…just to get by and purchase the learning tools both for the baby and myself to begin our battle. Books alone cost over 600.00 USED. I had no choice but to shut down my own Horse Boarding and Bonsai businesses to do 24/7 research and therapy in the home. Anything less would be unforgiveable as the Early Intervention window is where life changes ARE made.
We endured an unprecedented 3 week ice storm followed by a flood which left the kids and isolated and stranded. A very nice lady from a local agency and the local store owners both pitched in to donate firewood so we could afford heat. I was using food banks to feed us and I got a weatherization grant to repair the houses heating, vents, ducts and electrical systems. We had to make numerous police reports over someone hacking all of my credit and bank accounts, (2X), which caused us to have 2 Christmases where Toys for Tots was our only Christmas! I had to get numerous restraining orders to protect us from malicious vandalism which even occurred while we were home in the evenings because everyone knew I was abandoned with 3 kids on a secluded 10 acre Hobby farm. The Court finally put my son’s best interests ahead of my ex husband’s selfish rights of visitation thanks to a National Organization who advised me of an appellate decision often used in circumstances where one State is far superior to another in terms of education, therapy, etc…for the child and/ or custodial parent. There’s a LOT more to all of this…but the point being…the 3 year old window and everything done during this critical stage of development increases the child’s chances of leading a functional…though still assisted, HAPPY and HEALTHY life…at an average cost in Washington State…using assisted living or other government financed facilities of $77 million dollars for an Autistic person’s life.
I am including these earlier blogs and mailings in the event any if there are those of you in some of the 42 states which are not providing accommodating and appropriate services BEFORE the age of 3…which also means you need a certain amount of the vaccines in order to trigger the pre-disposed Autism. If you don’t immunize, you will not only miss early intervention…the ‘cure’ for Autism…BUT your child will also be at risk for highly contagious deadly diseases. Autism is not a KILLER…but the diseases normally protected by the MMR vaccine which ARE deadly!
From this blog I received a box of toys, books and a learning DVD which began the breakthrough of learning letters. This will be just one of the suggested DVD sets I will try and have links to so that your information and shopping with the Autism life can be all in one place! Stay away from fad ANYTHINGS. You will beat this but NOT if you see it as any less than a battle…100% dedication and continuous therapy IN THE HOME! It works, I
It was through my internet cries that Rep. Senator, Bob Doyle of PA. read one of MY blogs on the Senate Floor in an attempt to get Autism and Asperger’s included in Health Care Reform! He even called me on his cell to let me know! The Church and a few close friends of mine were the fragile thread I clung too while the baby started to respond to the home OT! (Touch, self feeding and peer socialization), Even with all of those efforts, he was STILL not getting appropriate speech therapy so he became further and further delayed and ‘melt downs’ became dramatically worse! (Sound familiar?)…
Through this part of the journey…in which your role is full time and intensive…there are a number of tools…books, DVD’s, toys, electronics, special clothing, mattresses, furniture, utensils, recipes, fax machines, vitamins, supplemental foods, etc…that ARE HELPFUL and make a difference! , I can justify each and every product that I would/ will recommend…and also answer your e-mails about which products, REGARDLESS OF THEIR FEEDBACK, SLOGANS, ENDORSEMENTS OR PUBLICITY…DO NOT WORK AT ALL AND IN SOME CASES CAUSE MORE DELAYS!! You will be surprised to know which products can actually be detrimental.
Again, I will not be allowing comments on this site…I will post some of your relevant e-mails…but this is my and my son’s forum and not a debate site. I welcome your e-mails and anything you might lend towards my goals of spreading awareness and helping each other find the tools, therapies, THERAPISTS and knowledge they will need to continue this LIFETIME Journey…the AUTISM BATTLE!