Talking about Autism Awareness Month

As an organization that has worked with individuals with Autism for the past six decades, it’s no surprise that Autism Awareness Month is top of mind at Grafton. As a… Read More

The Power of the Parent

By Jessica Judd, Grafton Adult Services Community Engagement Program Manager Parents are fixers. It’s what we do. If something isn’t going right for our children, we take the bull by the… Read More

Resilience–The Art of Bouncing Back

I was lucky to have been raised by two of the most resilient people I have ever met. My dad was injured in a body surfing accident when I was 21 months old, but somehow my parents rebounded stronger than ever and showed me a life I could never have imagined without my dad being in a wheelchair.

The Yes Practice

N-o. Those two letters trigger an emotional response in all of us. Being told “no” changes the course of our thought processes. Some people respond by accepting rejection and moving on. Others will hear “no” as an opportunity for negotiation or reframing their request. Some take it personally, as a repudiation of their ideas, their desires, or even their worth, and can react by lashing out or retreating inward.

Ten Things Parents of a Child with Autism Wish Teachers Knew

1) I’m sorry.

I will be saying this to many of you many, many times over the next 10 years. I will say this to you probably weekly, if not more. And I really am. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because I am the reason you have my child in your class. I fought for him to be mainstreamed because all of the doctors and specialists told me that being in the least restrictive environment among peer models would be best for my son’s development.

I’m sorry because I know that you aren’t trained for this.

The Autism Puzzle: A Lifelong Journey for a Brighter Future

I have a family member diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and to say that his life has been challenging would be an understatement. Unfortunately, he was not diagnosed until the age of 16 and prior to his diagnosis, he was lumped under the large umbrella of “Learning Disabled”. It was a never-ending pursuit of the best services for him and his parents endured unspeakable frustration and grief. However, although the small window of early diagnosis was missed with him, he has made significant gains over the course of his life with the right services.

A Different World—A Mother’s Perspective on Autism

“I am not different. “ My sixteen-year-old son makes this assertion countless time a day. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s a statement or a question. And I’m not entirely sure how he would define the word different. Despite my son’s autism diagnosis, speech and language impairment and IQ test scores, he is very intelligent. He is highly aware and very sensitive emotionally. But his language skills are very much delayed. For him, having a conversation is tantamount to climbing a mountain. It takes effort and it is exhausting. He saves this energy for topics he finds highly motivating. The concept of being “Different” seems to top that list.