Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew that I was going to be involved
in something bigger than myself.
As I was approaching 30, I was pregnant and unaware of what sort of mother
I was going to be. I have a great mother and she was always there as I was growing
up. My dad was a wonderful father and I always knew that I was loved. That I
knew was going to be passed on to my children.
As Caitlin grew, and we faced new challenges with her Autism, I never questioned
the reason for her existence. I just knew I had to be her warrior and her savior when
it came to getting her the services she deserved. We did not have to fight often, and
when we did, we came out ahead.
Our family continued to grow and with that came additional challenges. My husband
and myself never questioned why the children were Autistic, in fact, Autism was not
a big "issue" in our home. What we focused on was the fact that we had children to raise.
We took our children to restaurants, grocery stores, concerts, parks, Chuck E. Cheese,
bowling, skating, etc. We expected our children to behave in public. We were complemented
on our children's behaviors. We expected and still expect our children to behave.
Autism is not an excuse for bad behaviors. It is an excuse not to parent.
Today, I brought 2 of the kids to school late. We had dentist appointments. I was checking
in our office at school and the office administrator said to me, "I saw you on the news the other
night"..."you really do speak eloquently". I said, "Well, it is about time somebody noticed that".
She then told me that she believed that I will go far. She told me that I have a spark about
me that people listen to....she had me speechless.....which is hard to do.
I have spent the last year speaking at state conferences, local conferences, Autism workshops and I was even the MC at the Teacher Talent Show at school. I plan on continuing my
speaking engagements and telling the story of my family. There are many parent's out there
that are stumped on how to raise their children with Autism.
When asked, "how do you do it"?
I have one answer, "I never thought about it". I knew that I have given birth and these
children did not ask to be here. But, it is my responsibility to make sure that they do the
very best they can while I am here. I am to make sure they are treated the same when I
am no longer here.
I made a promise to each of my children when they were born that they could be whatever
they wanted to be. Instead of listening to people telling me what they cannot do, I taught the
children to show everyone what they could do.
Now, we have children in 10th grade honor roll, 8th grade honor roll, and 5th grade honor roll.
We have children who can sit quietly and behave in situations where it was once impossible for
them to accomplish this task. Through much hard work and effort on their parts, their teacher's
parts and parenting skills my husband and I have learned through the years, our children have
become role models in their community and their schools.
2008 has already proven to be a very busy year for us. I have been asked to be involved in alot
of new endeavors. Some I can talk about, some I cannot. I am excited and thrilled to be
involved in the Autism Community. I am honored beyond words that I can help promote
Autism in a positive light and we will begin our journey to take Autism away from the "gloom
and doom" category.
I will continue to blog here and I have been asked to take part of a new website:
www.trusera.com. I will have a blog there also about raising children with Autism. I am
excited beyond words.
Thanks to Diva for recommending me....I really do appreciate that.
- 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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