In the last two decades, diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder have increased exponentially. The enormous number of children now being diagnosed will grow into a large number of adults. In… Read More
It’s not unusual for a parent to be beaming with pride when their child wins an award. So it may not surprise you that I am incredibly proud of my… Read More
Often, when we think of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the individuals who come to mind are children. But in the last two decades, diagnoses of ASD have increased exponentially. The… Read More
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.