Final Blog in Our Series on Autism and Family Life
Years ago, a catfight broke out on a local listserv for families of children with autism. The new guard (parents new to a diagnosis) was having it out with the old guard (parents of older kids) over treatments. Criticism flew in all directions and it was getting downright ugly. Back then I was more a listserv-lurker than a writer, but my concern about this divisiveness propelled me to post a reminder that we were more alike than we were different and that we all wanted the same thing for our kids. I pointed out that autism is hard and we need all the support we can get so let’s be kind to each other. It was a long post and I had regrets as soon as I hit the send button. It was well-received though, and many said that they planned to use it as a primer for family and friends to help understand life with autism.
Years later, soon after I started with Seattle Children’s, I was asked to co-present with a psychologist colleague to a group of psychology/psychiatry residents on autism. She was to cover evaluating and diagnosing autism and mine was to be a parent’s perspective on autism. How on earth, I wondered, do I begin to capture life with autism? What I wanted was for the group to come spend 24 hours with my family, but that wasn’t going to happen so I decided on the next best thing. I asked friends to videotape my family from the time we got up in the morning until the time we went to bed at night . . . and the time we got up in the middle of the night! We began taping in the summer and finished up just after Christmas. With a dedicated crew and cast, “A Day in the Life with Autism” was made, 24 minutes representing 24 hours of life with autism. Read full post »