A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts published in December, 2010

Nice you tube video that says it all:

Parenting Advice From Total Strangers

And I mean that literally.  My son Sean has become increasingly aggressive.  This morning when the bus arrived, I opened his door to find out he had removed his socks and shoes AGAIN!

I had Sean sit on the bed so I could put on his socks and shoes for him.  I was clearly upset, he wasn’t happy and WHAM!  He nailed me a good chop across the temple that sent my glasses flying.  He then retreated, apparently expecting my response, which actually took all the anger out of me.  I put on the footwear and he got on his bus, in a suprisingly good mood.

I was thinking that if I had let that moment affect me, perhaps the way it should, it would have ruined both our days.

As they say, turning the other cheek, while a very hard thing to do, was clearly the right thing to do.

And maybe, just maybe, there was a lesson learned there for Sean and that aggressive behavior won’t accomplish anything.

And of course, when people ask me, how Sean is doing, I’ll say, he’s doing just fine, because he is a work in progress.

Something in the air?  Carbon monoxide levels may be related to the development of autism.  It does seem that the rise of autism is running an eerily similar pattern as CO2 emissions.

In my home state of NJ comes this article about a dads’ support group.  It’s good to see dads being more forthcoming in joining support groups.

The ASPEN Father’s Group offers a place where they can come together and discuss their problems and triumphs.”

Had an opportunity to become President of a trade association for my industry.

Those types of gigs should always be approached with caution.  Personally, I look at them as the ultimate mid-life crisis solution.  A big stroke to your ego just around the time you’re watching your cholesterol count shoot out of control.

But it was never a valid option for me.   Being President of an association is like taking on a jealous mistress, you’re  never going to live up to expectations.

Quite frankly, I really didn’t give it a lot of thought.  I did wait a day before responding so I had the opportunity to pause and reflect on approaching the precipice of my industry, but at the end of the day, saying no was a total no brainer.

So the final action is to go here and journal about it.  I’m sure other dads out there try to strike that balance.  I do try to figure out what things will make me feel stronger and this thankless gig definitely wasn’t one of them.

So we move on and move forward.  Now instead of spending the weekend trying to lead an association, I can spend it trying to do some homework with the kids.  Now I just need to do that, instead of just drinking beer and watching football.

Like I said, finding a balance in life ain’t easy for the father of autistic twins.

STX209, as developed by Seaside, may be the closest thing we’ve seen so far as a significant breakthrough drug to help handle the aggressive behavior associated with autism.  If it can also increase communication and ehance social behavior, then we’ve truly found the Holy Grail.

Still, the drug is only in testing and looks to be a couple years away from FDA approval.

Whether the drug will prove safe and effective in the long term, of course, is yet to be seen. But with no drugs approved for Fragile X and only two to treat autism — both aimed at relieving symptoms rather than treating the underlying problem — the development of STX209 will undoubtedly be closely watched, both by parents and the pharmaceutical industry.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/01/how-a-new-version-of-an-old-drug-may-someday-help-treat-autism-and-addiction-too/#ixzz17eJcH27k

Legos may not sound like the most creative learning toy out there, but apparently to kids with autism it can be a building block to creativity.

University of Rochester Medical Center researchers discovered that the use of legos may be vital in helping children with autism tap into their ability to think creatively.

So for you parents out there who tried blocks with your kids and were unsuccessful, try it again.

<–Click on the photo to read more.