There is no question in my mind that parent training has made me a better parent. While there is a difference between the theory and practice of ABA therapy and while there is a difference between being a parent and being a therapist, the knowledge gained from the parent training offered by our early intervention team has been invaluable.
Marie Josée explains that there is a beautiful innocence in ASD. A person with autism will never try to manipulate a situation to make themselves look better. They are without malice, and they don't know how to pretend. I say what I need to and I don't mince words! My partner can attest to this. He knows I'm different, that I like to talk about stuff that is real, and he accepts me as I am.
While watching the Sochi Olympics this past February I was blown away by the prowess of these young athletes defying the laws of gravity, and surprising me at every turn. Then one night I thought to myself that actually, our lives as parents with autistic children are kind of the same. Except we don't win a medal at the end.
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, and April is World Autism Awareness month. Unfortunately, it's no longer uncommon for most of us to know families struggling just to keep up with the day-to-day tasks required of them because they have a child with autism. Here's how you -- as a family member, friend, neighbour or even just as a friendly acquaintance or concerned citizen -- can help families affected by autism.
The 41st Quebec general election is scheduled for Monday April 7, 2014. A new PQ majority government would mean a possible referendum for Quebec separation from Canada in the near future. Yes, I know, we've been down this road before, only now, I have an autistic child who can only speak English. The dynamics have suddenly changed for me. Don't get me wrong, I love this province, I just don't like what's it's become over the last two years but most importantly, it's the uncertainty, the unknown that scares me the most. My son risks being silenced in a province that could, in the future, choose not to recognize his language
As a life coach, I work with all sorts of people in their teens and 20s. I learn from all of them. One of my most powerful learning lessons came from a 13-year-old client with Autism, who allowed me to see the dangers of people in power trying to "do the right thing." I am pleased to share with you now the inner workings of one the most interesting minds I have ever met.
Contrary to popular belief, most kids with autism are not anti-social. Yet, many 'neurotypicals' still struggle when it comes to including a child with autism in the conversation. Those that do try, often fail because they don't know a few essential rules that can help make the interaction possible.
We live in a province where language is a huge issue. I can't even begin to tell you how many times people have said to me "Oh your son doesn't speak French?! Do you realize you live in Quebec"? Really, thank you kindly for pointing that out. Do YOU realize my son is autistic and for the first five years of his life barely spoke?
Raising awareness is often a good first step, and functions well as a means to an end -- but it cannot be viewed as an end in itself. Activism simply does not end with the sharing of a Facebook post or a retweet; it's great to tell your friends that something is important enough to share with them, but it's virtually meaningless if it doesn't lead to further action.
One late spring day, there was a party invitation from Laurie on my desk when I walked into French class. Laurie was the "funny one" of the very popular girls. She was snarky before snarky was a thing. She had a quick wit that stung. I'd seen girls driven to tears by her so often I lost count. Our only conversations had been her asking me for help with algebra, so I had no idea why I was invited.
While volunteering and working with autistic children, Lisa Fraser noticed one of the key therapeutic devices of the day was, in her eyes, really ugly. The weighted vests was like slapping a label on kids and saying "Hey, look at me! I'm different." She believed that bringing a better design and even some style into these kids' lives, was an endeavour worth pursuing.