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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NEURODIVERSITY....

One must remember, that I have been in the world of AUTISM for 16 years. I did not come upon this yesterday, or even last year. But, last year, I did come upon Neurodiversity by accident....
You see, I was at a point in my life that I knew there was something more to Autism. I did not believe Autism was the end of the world for my children or my family. Our financial situation was not pretty, but our children were thriving in school and in the community.
I was a member of a local Autism Message Board and it was becoming quite depressing reading all of the new procedures these parent's were doing to their children. I would respond to these parent's about our home. How our children are progressing without the use of these procedures. I just wanted, especially new parent's, to know that they did not have to go to such extremes to "recover" or "cure" their children.
Upon my Google search for Autism, I found the AutismWeb Forum message board. I started reading the messages. I read the pro-biomedical side and the anti-biomedical side. I was in heaven that I found people out there, in cyber-space, that thought the way I did about Autism. That there were parent's out there that accepted their Autistic children.

As I began to post messages and try to give my opinion, I quickly found out that the Neurodiverse, as we are called, are not readily accepted on this site. The biomedical community seems a bit "put-off" with anything the ND have to offer. It is the Biomedical way or the Highway to most of them. I have never seen such hate spewed to others. What is wrong with listening to others? Why do the Biomedical parent's feel the need to defend themselves so vehemently? Why are they so damn angry?

Through the Neuro-diverse, I have learned alot. I have learned through this group that you do not have to behave hatefully. Dignity is what I see....that is what I am trying to teach to my children....DIGNITY. I do not see name-calling or anyone hating anyone else. I do not see people talking behind other's backs on locked message boards. Everything is out there for the world to see. And that is all the Neurodiverse is trying to do, in my opinion, is to let the World see that Autism and person's with the disorder can fit perfectly in this place we call society.

I, as a mother, only want my children to be who they are meant to be. They are strong, intelligent, well-loved, admired children. What parent could ask for more?
Through the ND community, I have learned to do this better. I have learned that our community was very happy to embrace all of our children...autistic or not.
I thank them for that.

I started this post before our Extreme Makeover Home Edition show aired. I waited to post it, because I knew there would be people, namely 2, who thought it was okay to demean me and my children.

The Extreme Makeover event changed more than our home...it changed our lives. It made our family closer. It made us realize that we were doing the correct things for our children all along.
We have met some amazing people through our journey with EMHE..the producer's, the "stars", and the crew, the people of Crested Butte, CO, the ski instructors..(hello Pablo) and everyone involved have all become family to us.
We were a bit nervous about the changes and the effects it would have on our kids, but they were amazing. Autistic children have a hard time with any change in their routines, but our children were awesome. Not even a whimper on the airplanes. We were so proud.
Not once did we have to video tape an episode of "OCD" for the world to see...amazing. Not once did we have to show our children having a fit...not Temper Tantrum 1 or Temper Tantrum 2...if you know what I mean....

The only positive we wanted to show out of Extreme Makeover was that our children were awesome....and the producer's made sure that happened. Through them and Ty, Paige, Eduardo, Paulie, and Tanya the world saw that autism is not a disability...we truly thank them for that.

12 comments:

mike stanton said...

What a fantastic post. You and your family are an inspiration to us all.

mcewen said...

So hopefully you're settling into your new surroundings well? Time to get those fingers typing perhaps?
Best wishes

Mom26children said...

Unfortunately for some, I have alot to type about...I hope they can handle it.
We have settled into our new home without so much as a hitch.The children had no transition problems at all. We were a bit worried, but the design team researched each individual child well.
Mike,
I find inspiration in my children. They have taught me so much about love and adversity.

Fore Sam said...

Mom26, Nobody who uses biomed would care at all if the ND's were only talking about autism acceptance. In fact, I think you would find 100% agreement on that. The most vocal ND's, however, are bashing everyone who cures autism. Why would any sane parent bash another parent or doctor for curing this horrible condition?

LIVSPARENTS said...

I hate to be on the ND side, but there's that 4 letter word...cure. I don't disagree with you that I need to help my daughter, but I also can't agree that who she and 1/2 a million others like her are lost in a 'horrible' condition. I need to get beyond the blame game and get tot the point to where both she and I can be healed. You won't get there finding co-consipiators hiding around every corner...
Bill

M-j said...

I found your blog by clicking through a bunch of autism blogs and I think it may have come by way of Autism Diva. Anywho, You are an amazing woman and I am happy to have found your blog. I saw EMHE a while back and I was in tears and so emotional the entire time I watched the show.
I am the mother of two boys, one with a diagnosis of autism and another with PDD diagnosis. This life is difficult, tiring and draining. There are some days I want to walk out of the house and not come back. But I do not view my circumstances to be any different than others. I hate hearing, "Wow! You deal with SO MUCH! How do you do it?" I don't know! I just do it because it is my life and I have to! My children are not to be pitied, they are amazing, wonderful, happy, well-loved kids. It is not my place to cure them or change them. I want them to be who they are.
It is not easy to tell well-meaning family to butt out and to stop sending me articles about therapies and drugs. My children are beautiful. I don't regret having them for a second.

TO all of the people who have bashed you and critized you: PBLTT!!!! This is not some "horrible" disease. My kid is happy. He is loved. He is all I ever wanted in life. He is worth having. So there.

Mom26children said...

Bill,
I have never, ever hated to be on the ND side. I have questioned the hatred on the "curebie" side though....
I must tell you this Bill, because that is just who I am...In my mind, you are a wonderful father and husband. You are doing your best to find what will make your daughter well.
I have been there. It is a hard road and in the end, it is wonderful. Trust me.

LIVSPARENTS said...

I'm sorry, that comment was 'fore-sam'. Hate is a strong word since, in a sense, I AM on the ND side, because despite her progress, Liv will always have to deal with being autistic. I don't expect her to 'recover' other than I hope that the therapies I choose to use will help her communicate and focus.
I have been sensitized by the ND wing to words such as 'horrible', 'cure', 'battle'.

I am fighting FOR someone, not AGAINST anything...

Club 166 said...

Glad to hear that your kids came thru all this OK.
It was nice seeing a realistic portrayal of life with autism highlighted.


When I was watching the show, when they brought out the megaphone I cringed, thinking of how my son would react. He also wouldn't have done well with watching the demolition.

Mom26children said...

Hi Club 166,
Actually, we knew we were 1 of 5 families in the running for that date, so the children were prepared. Also, the producer's were very considerate of the more severely autistic children for the demolition and the reveal.
Caitlin was very funny with the demolition...she said, "mission accomplished". She amazed us most of all.
Jeanette

Judi said...

Fabulous, fabulous post!! I lost your blog for a while and I am so glad I found it again.

I absolutely adored the EMHE show featuring your family Jeanette. It was such an inspiration to us. I loved seeing your children being portrayed as the wonderful kids they are. The look of relief and pure gratefulness on your face when you saw your new home made me extremely happy (and extremely teary).

Thank you for posting, and thank you and the people of EMHE for showing the positive, wonderful side of autism that many don't get to hear about.

Enjoy your new home, you deserve it!

mcewen said...

no email address so, and technologically challenged - appropos your comment, here goes - just to say that whoever was organizing the team for your house zipa de do dah, must have been a very insightful person to have left little 'surprises' around the house. That's such a delightful idea, so personal. There's loving your work/ job / calling and going the extra centimetre [mile].
BEst wishes and hoping that there are a few more lurking [surprises, that is to say].
Best wishes