Are you aware of Autism?
Well, if you are not, don't you think it is about time you become aware of Autism?
We all know someone who has autism...or, someone who's child(ren) have autism. There are autistic kids in your family, school, neighborhood and city. You see them every day, whether you
notice them or not...they are around you.
People with autism have ALWAYS been around you...you probably just did not notice.
I babysat a child with autism when I was 11 years old. I am 49...you do the math!!!
I worked with autistic teenagers while going to college. That was from 1980 until 1985, when
I decided to follow another career path (again, you do the math)...
People who state there were no autistic adults 30 years ago led a very sheltered life. Just Google insane asylums and you will see photos of rooms filled with naked, heavily-medicated, poorly cared for adults. They were called "insane", "mentally retarded", "schizophrenic" and basically, thrown away from society so we did not have to see them. They were not offered an education and, well, let's just be honest...put away until their death.
I would imagine that a great majority of those patients would be considered autistic these days. I would imagine their parent's would not be advised to medicate them to where they are non-functional and completely lethargic. They would be offered an education and therapies. The parent's would have hope their children would not be doomed for a life of "hell"...
I know, I know....there are some parent's who still believe the diagnosis of autism is a definition for a life that is doomed....
Not this Momma....ain't gonna happen on my watch....
Five of our children carry the autism label...they are functioning in society and society has
so-far, opened up its arms wide and strong for my children.
Caitlin, 19, who is labeled severely autistic will graduate from high school in June. She has been accepted into a program that will train her and help her find her way after high school. I could not be any more proud of her than if she was accepted to an Ivy League college....she continues to amaze me.
Deirdre, 16 in May, who is labeled with Asperger's Syndrome , is already touring colleges. She has already seen colleges in Texas and Louisiana. She still struggles with her social cues, but her friends understand her and love her. Not bad for a Sophmore in High school.
Erin, 13, PDD-NOS, is on the student council, performs at UIL choir functions and was selected to perform at Cafe night. She has an amazing voice. She is tall and statuesque. She also has some social issues, but maintains a tight-knit group of friends. She has managed to keep her honor roll, straight A status since Elementary school.. Not too shabby for 7th grade.
Meaghan, 12, NT, is becoming quite the social butterfly. I just wish her interest in make-up would be replaced by a bigger interest in her math grade...
She is witty and like it or not...a lot like her mother.
Little Patrick, 10, PDD-NOS, has just been selected for the Safety Patrol Squad at school. Quite an honor to be selected, by the way. He is in his 2nd season of Little League and he loves his baseball. He still obsesses about the weather, and worries about his Uncle Wayne in Oklahoma (tornadoes, ya know?)...I am hoping he channels this into a future as a meteorologist. He has a great group of little boys he calls friends with amazing parent's who love him.
and Kiernan...9, with severe autism is pure energy and motion. Still non-verbal, but don't give up on him yet. He is loud when he wants to be heard. Yes, he is in dire need of a haircut (kinda looks like David Cassidy in the 1970's), but...his classmates and friends love his hair..He has also maintained straight A's...smart as a whip this one!!!
My family has an amazing support group around us. I know I could call any one of them to be here when I need them...And they have never disappointed us !!!
They love our kids and our kids love them back...
So, back to my original question...
Are You Aware of Autism???
Well...you are NOW!!!!
- 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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