A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts in parent advocacy for autism

This Op-Ed piece from Steve Silberman (author of Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity) is trending in today’s NY Times.  I think it’s a very even handed commentary on a societal issue, namely when authorities have no experience with autism.

policehttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/opinion/police-autism-understanding.html?ribbon-ad-idx=15

on the eve of Father’s Day in the US, here’s a tip from the dad of an autistic child across the pond in England:

beach

When you have a child on the spectrum, you get used to disapproving looks from strangers. But if people learned to be kinder and more understanding, it would benefit everyone.

ne of the most difficult things about autism is the judgment of other people. That has been my experience of having a son on the spectrum. Throughout his life, from trips to the park as a toddler to restaurant visits now as an 11-year-old, it has been the reactions of strangers that have really hurt. Sometimes Zac finds social situations very difficult. If things are noisy, if there is something he wants that he can’t have, he finds it tough to process those emotions. He may cry, he may become angry, he may have what is commonly termed “a complete meltdown”. As parents, my wife and I have developed ways to foresee and manage these situations, but if we are in a public place, or if my son is with other adults, everything becomes far more fraught and complicated. You get used to the disapproving looks. You get used to being judged.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/16/how-to-help-people-with-autism-just-be-nice

The most nagging fear for any autistic parent is what happens to your kids when you’re gone (or at least no longer able to care for them).   The shortage of adult housing has been well documented.  The nation’s appetite for taking care of the less fortunate is probably at an all time low.

I’m writing this as a wake up call to myself.  Over the next five years, I need to develop a plan, a realistic plan to take the boys through adulthood.  That starts with housing, but includes vocational work, a sense of purpose, as happy a life as they can possible have.

 

All I need now is a plan. housing

For Children with Autism, Multiple Languages May Be a Boon

Most children who learn more than one language gain valuable skills, and researchers say this may also be true for children with autism

I have to give the Peete family credit for being vocal and unabashed supporters of the autism community. 

Blocking specific cells during pregnancy can help prevent the disorder developing

  • Mice exposed to high IL-17a levels in the womb exhibited autism symptoms
  • This is a signalling protein that boosts how a body fends off infections 
  • Blocking related cells restored normal structure to the brains of the pups 
  • This was regardless of whether this was achieved by treatment with antibodies or by shutting down the IL-17a gene completely

By VICTORIA WOOLLASTON FOR MAILONLINE

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3421329/Have-scientists-cure-autism-Blocking-specific-cells-pregnancy-help-prevent-disorder-developing.html#ixzz3yeCk1e4v
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With this plan and the prospect of voting for Donald Trump, I may do in November what I thought I would never do; vote for Hillary.

I’m always surprised by the number of kind and good hearted folks who do the little things that make life with autistic kids so much better.  Case in point is this story about a barber who broke out of any normal routine to make it work for this young autistic child.  Hats off!

This is a good article about the need for parents to be advocates for their kids.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arshya-vahabzadeh/autism-_b_5307391.html