An Interview with Parent Susan Sturms
Lynn: With the advantage of hindsight, what advice would you give to yourself as a younger/less experienced parent, newer to your child’s diagnosis?
Susan: First, I would be more inclined to give myself words of comfort and encouragement than to give myself words of advice. I would say, “Be kind to yourself”. Time spent researching therapies is important; time spent advocating for your child with the school system is time well spent; time spent interviewing and hiring behavioral therapists that are a good fit for your child and your family is a top priority. But time spent getting to know your child and creating happy memories of just being together is the most valuable investment of all. You are on a journey to a deep and beautiful understanding of the value of a human life. I won’t lie – it is difficult, painful, and lonely at times. But it will also include times Read full post »
The title of this blog series is “A Conversation With My Younger Self”. We wondered what parents and providers would say to their younger selves having the wisdom of hindsight and if there might be any words of wisdom our younger selves might have for us today. We begin with providers.
Anita Wright, Speech Pathologist
As a young professional, there was a lot I didn’t know or understand about autism. I should have taken more time to describe to parents the strengths their child exhibited, not just the deficits, not just the worrisome behaviors. I would have helped parents recognize and emphasize the positive aspects of their child and point out how we can build on those strengths to broaden the child’s skills in other areas.
As a parent, I’d remind myself not to be too quick to give up on teaching new things, even when the going seems incredibly slow. Time and persistence on a parent’s part can sometimes bring surprising Read full post »
The Overstuffed Mind of Parents of Kids with Autism
When my mind gets overloaded and feels as if it will explode, I often imagine taking it off my shoulders and shaking it out the way I empty my overfilled backpack when trying to find my keys that have sunk to the bottom.
Ah, if only it were that easy.
Parents of kids with autism have minds full of stuff – the stuff of their crazy busy lives – that include so much more than the average human being. To mention just a very few of the things that simultaneously occupy the brain of said parent: therapy appointments, IEP meetings, prescription refills, data on behavior-to-hopefully-be-changed, field trips, social-skills-improving play-dates, grocery lists with the five things a persnickety kid will eat and mama/papa-needs-a-break camp applications.
And the list goes on and on. Read full post »
In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from 13-year-old Elly.
Autism is like a person knocking at your door, but instead of opening the door, you just listen to the knock. As it grows louder, and stronger you… grow more stressed, and upset. Every knock is an event involving autism that just breaks you, makes you cry, makes you hurt. The breaks between each knock are the happy times, laughing, forgetting autism is really there.
My twin brother, Trevor, has Autism.
I sometimes wish life had a remote. I would be able to rewind our birth, and backspace the Autism. It really hurts. Not having that sibling relationship. Sometimes it feels like nobody understands, what it’s like to feel alone. Read full post »
In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Patty Pacelli.
Teaching My Autistic Son to Ride a Bike
I’m sure some children with autism learn to ride a bicycle just as well as any other child, but my son Trevor had a hard time with it, and more significantly, had practically zero interest in learning. According to HowtoLearn.com, bicycle riding is usually more difficult for children with autism.
His older sister started learning to ride a bike at about 5 years old, being pushed from behind on a tiny bicycle with training wheels. She had a tricycle before that. Trevor rode the tricycle a little bit, but just wasn’t interested in even trying a two-wheeler. He was too entranced by other things. He would play outside, but spent a lot of time squatting down on the ground, playing with blades of grass or dropping leaves into the storm drains on our cul-de-sac. He seemed happy and content to walk around and Read full post »