About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Public Assistance....

I have taken the time to read a few statements this weekend, that some kind soul was trying to share with me....thinking I might get offended...The person that sent them to me does not think kindly of my Accepting Attitude towards my children....
They are trying to egg me on....Guess what? It didn't...
But then, I thought about it for a while....
Do I owe this person an explanation of why my family accepts funding from MHMR (Mental Health and Mental Retardation) for Respite and SSI for a couple of our children????
Then I thought, why the heck not. Maybe that will shut them up about me for once and for all....I doubt it....I think soon they will start a fan club about my family. They do seem OBSESSED....

Okay, in 1994, when Caitlin was diagnosed, my husband worked and I ran an in-home daycare. We had a visit from Any Baby Can, a local support group. They assessed our situation and told us about respite help and SSI. The respite help had a 7 year wait list. So we applied for SSI. Unbeknowst to us, we got an appointment. We went downtown and filled out forms and answered questions. 2 weeks later, we were given an appointment with a speech therapist to evaluate Caitlin for SSI. I guess we passed. 6 weeks later we received a retro check and Medicaid...boy was that a lifesaver. Her medical bills were enormous.
Deirdre was born in 1994 and she was not diagnosed until 2004. She has never received any supplemental income of any kind. We feel she will succeed fine and not need services in the future.
Erin was diagnosed in 1998 and we put her on the waitlists and applied for SSI. Again, she qualified and started receiving MHMR and SSI.
Meaghan received no services or funding.
Patrick was diagnosed in 2002. He started receiving SSI and MHMR services at that time. There is now no waitlist for services in Travis County for In-home and Family Support. That is what we get.
Kiernan was diagnosed the same day as Patrick in 2002. He also receives SSI and receives more services than Patrick. He is much more delayed and has a more severe form of autism.

Now, the reason we still receive services is that WE QUALIFY for them. WE do not cheat or lie to get these services. We fill out forms...we go to every evaluation....we open our home up once a month to be observed and make sure we are using the funds appropriately. We have no problems with that.

To be Accepting of Autism does not in any way mean that we do not think we have autistic children. We know they are autistic. Accepting our autistic children is just that ACCEPTING. I wish you people would get that.
We know our children are autistic. We have been told by more than one professional. We have been through the wringer. We will be scrutinized all of our existence as long as we have these amazing children.

So, please refrain, if that is possible, from trying to drag my wonderful family through the mud. And, if you are ever in Austin, Tx...give me a call. You are welcome to come meet us for yourselves. You will probably leave with a smile on your face and a better appreciation of what acceptance is...and maybe you will quit negating our efforts for doing so.

I can DREAM, can't I ??????

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