A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts published in November, 2010

Susan and I have talked off and on about taking a full family vacation.  Right now, she takes a yearly trip with Kate and her mother, while I stay home with the boys.  Myself, I take an annual Mancation golfing trip, so we’re all equal on that front.  But the idea of going somewhere with the boys, while highly interesting, also presents itself as a potential disaster.

That’s why I was happy to see this article about helping to acclimate autistic kids and teens to airline travel.   Based on how well (or badly) a dress rehearsal were to go, it would help determine if the boys could actually handle a real plane trip.

Click on the image below to link to the article:

The song by Jackson Browne occurred to me one night, as my son Sean went from nonstop whining to a delightfully charming young boy within a matter of seconds.

During that whining phase, I withdraw into my own world to survive.  I thought to myself how many more years would I be able to deal with this child.  He’s 10 now, but puberty is only a few years away and what happens in just six years, when I turn 60 and he’s now 16.  Who would you put your money in a fight?

Then just a minute later, the clouds parted and this delightful young boy emerged from the shadows to make me laugh and smile.

I don’t know what will happen over the next six years.  I expect my life and outlook will continue to vacillate between hope and dark despair.  I just hope that Sean gets to live the life he deserves.

Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer,
I was taken by a photograph of you.
There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more,
But they didn’t show your spirit quite as true.
You were turning round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by suprise.
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you,
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes.

Now that the things that I remember seem so distant and so small,
Though it hasn’t really been that long a time.
What I was seeing wasn’t what was happening at all
Although for a while, our path did seem to climb.
When you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger,
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool.
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
All the loneliness seems to spring from your life,
Like a fountain from a pool.

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light,
You know that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You had to hide sometimes, but now you’re alright.
And it’s good to see your smiling face tonight.

Now for you and me it may not be that hard to reach our dreams,
But that magic feeling never seems to last.
And while the future’s there for anyone to change,
Don’t you know it seems
It would be easier sometimes to change the past.
I’m just one or two years, and a couple of changes behind you
In my lessons at love’s pain and heartache school,
Where if you feel too free and you need something to remind you,
There’s this loneliness springing up through your life
Like a fountain from a pool.

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light,
You know that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You had to hide sometimes, but now you’re alright.
And it’s good to see your smiling face tonight.

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light,
You know that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You’ve had to struggle, you’ve had to fight
To keep understanding and compassion in sight
You could be laughing at me, you’ve got the right.
But you go one smiling, so clear and so bright.

Small study, involving only 14 kids and with a budget of $200,000/kid, I might be able to cure it myself.  But I pass these stories along for your potential application:

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An organization that provides therapy to children with autism claims it has cured six Phoenix-area autistic children as part of a $5.4 million state-funded study.

While the announcement offers hope to parents of autistic children, the 3-year study was small, involving just 14 children, and not everyone is convinced the results represent a cure, the Arizona Republic reports.

“We were able to achieve normal functioning for 43 percent of our children — 43 percent are recovered,” said Doreen Granpeesheh, founder and executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Without governmental funding, the therapy would run in the neighborhood of $200,000.

No, it wasn’t stolen or anything like that.

We’ve finally kicked the last of the rug-rats out of the master bedroom!  For too long a period of time, I was left to putting Sean to bed, while my better half had to deal with both Kate and Michael.  Of course, the easiest way to handle this after a long hard day is to simply fall asleep yourself next to said child.

That is exactly the trap they hoped we would fall for!

But starting last week, we finally moved Michael to his room and Kate to hers.  For Michael, the attraction was an integrated DVD/TV set up, so he could fall asleep to his beloved Veggietales.

Bingo, overnight success!  Now I find myself waking up in the master bedroom next to my wife, like a typical couple.

For a little thing, it’s actually a major, major accomplishment.