April 27, 2008
I was honored to spend the last 2 days in Huntsville, Tx. I went to work with parent's and grandparent's at an autism workshop presented by the University of Texas Autism Program. This is a non-profit, self-sustaining organization started by 2 women (Pam Buchanan, a lecturer at the University of Texas and Dr. Jody Jensen, a professor of Kinesiology at UT). These 2 women have given their blood, sweat and tears for the last 12 years to this program. Autism is their passion and they offer UTAP workshops in Sensory Integration Therapy and Play Therapy to families, educators, therapists and family members who are affected by or teach children with Autism.
I have been honored to be asked to become a part of UTAP as a Parent Liason, so to speak. We are now trying to find donors who would love to see the program continue. The goal is 4.4 million dollars.....WHOA!
I was at the workshop yesterday and amongst the activities were a very gentle-looking, much older couple. I went over to meet them. These wonderful people introduced themselves as the great-grandparent's of a young Autistic boy who was attending the program with not only them, but the grandparent's as well. The young boy's parents are no where to be found. This set of Great-grandparent's have been raising this little boy since he was 9-months old.......AMAZING.
They looked at this little boy with all the love and joy ANY parent would look at a child of theirs. I spent alot of time with these two loving people.
This couple retired 10 years ago December. They were happy to be able to rest and relax and enjoy their retirement. Well, God had other plans. 2 months after they retired, entered the Great-grandson. He had no where to go.
I believe this young man has made these "GREAT"-grandparent's really know what un-conditional love is. They have had to learn patience along with having to learn how to parent a child with Autism.....yes, PARENT a child.
This little boy is well-fed, well-cared for and most of all well-loved by these 2 souls that God has picked to be his caretakers and his Guardian Angels at a time that he needs someone the most.
My wish, after meeting these two lovely people is....they live a very long life...they deserve to see the child they gave so much up for grow up and show them the lovely MAN they have helped to mold through their undying and unselfish unconditional Love. I know I have become a better person for just meeting them...how lucky this young boy is for having them as "GREAT" "GRAND" "PARENTS"....
- 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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