Still waiting for the schoolbus … They managed to forget al about my little guy so we are waiting for them instagr.am/p/RxjnL7Obre/
— Katrina Moody (@KatrinaMoody) November 8, 2012
This song always makes me stop and listen. The words are simple, but the message is amazing. With Autism, sometimes it is easy to forget that Love is more important than just about everything else. After all, when you love the child with autism, you can handle any of the behaviors, the challenges, the verbalization issues, the quirks, the awesomeness … can’t you?
Your Turn: What’s your favorite ode to Autism? Is it a video? Writing? Leave a link in the comments and let’s share the inspiration!
WEGO’s National Health Blog Post Month – Day 1 – Why I Blog
Special Needs Parenting is Sometimes a Selfish Job
It sounds trite to say I blog because I know I can help others. Now, after living, breathing special needs parenting for almost 14 years, it just seems to encompass so much more.
When I first started blogging, almost 3 years ago, I blogged for myself. No one read my journal (I didn’t call it a blog), except the odd person lost on their way to more exciting things — but I was sporadically inclined to write about coming to grips with being a special needs mom.
And I felt so alone.
Some of my oldest posts back then were short little rants about the merits of repetitive questions, the craziness of trying to avoid being depressed because of all the stress of having three kids with awesomeness. They were all about me. (nothing wrong with that – I recommend parents journal to find this inner voice of their own, actually!)
I didn’t realize for the longest time that my blog could be a voice I could use to help others. [Read more…] about Why I Blog About Special Needs Parenting, Autism, Epilepsy #NHBPM
Employing Autism – Why Special Needs Parents Care
As I was going through recent stories on my Special Needs Parenting and Blogging Topic over on Scoop.It (just a little plug!) I came across a great little article by Huffington Post writer Jim Walter about his recent trip to Target. And it got me to thinking beyond his post a bit.
Here’s his original post on Facebook:
His updated post on The Huffington Post went over the kinds of comments and reaction he received, though I really think the viral nature of his post should tell us a little something more. His post, to date, has received 440, 911 likes and 11, 132 comments!
Why do we Care About Employing Autism
When I say “employing autism” I am thinking of adults and teenagers who have autism, at all points along the spectrum, who can be gainfully employed in any way … Target employing one autistic young man is but one example.
But that’s kind of the point.
We have three boys who are at different points on the autism spectrum. While Andy is very mildy autistic, Bobby is more moderately autistic, and Logan more severely. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I’m sure that, given the right environment, the right interest, and the right (read: supportive) kind of employer each of them could find a job they love.
But to be employed, they must find an employer willing to hire them, work with them, and care that some things are more difficult than others for them. This might be one example of one employer who was willing to employ one young man with autism, but in this example I see hope for our three boys.
Yes, even Logan, who is still largely nonverbal.
As a society, how we treat those who need a little more help determines how we succeed, not just as a society, but as communities and individuals.
One employer at a time, one community at a time, we can see a world that is starting to accept our kids are just as awesome as we’ve always said they are.
Yes, it starts with this one young man, or the young woman I noticed at a store in Indianapolis, or the two young people with cerebral palsy I see often at my local grocery store. But the point is, it starts.
We can help that along by being the best advocates possible for our children. Employing autism might seem a trite way to say it, but in the same way that you employ any person, you are employing their strengths and weaknesses.
Society has mistakenly thought autism was only a weakness for too long.
Now, maybe others can start to see autism as a strength as well.
The Target PostHuffington Post (blog)After I tagged the picture (or failed to tag it), I searched for Target and figured I’d write a quick “kudos” to them and ask a few people I know in the autism blogging community to just go read and like it… See on www.huffingtonpost.com
What about you? Do you have a story about a special way society has started to accept those with autism? Or maybe you’re discouraged, hurt, or even scared about how society treats you and/or your child with special needs? Tell me about it – I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
No More Nice Mom about my Child with Autism (all three of them!)
No More Autism Cures Please
My child with autism – all three of them – are amazing. Talk with most autism parents – there’s nothing more personal to a parent than talking about their child, and if they have a child with autism that’s even more true.
Sometimes, though, well-meaning folks don’t stop to think before they pass along something ‘wonderful’ that they have read. And if you have a child with autism, let’s just be honest here – life’s rough enough without being hit in the face every day with how other people think you should do better for your child.
The other day I received a message on Facebook from a friend about someone’s newest way to “recover their child” from Autism. I’d say I receive a Facebook message or email, even sometimes find these sentiments in face to face conversation, at least once per week.
But …So here’s the thing. I’m a nice person. I like to keep the balance, look at things from all sides of the coin, be unbiased about one new treatment or another.
But, when it comes to our children, please don’t be the next person trying to tell me how to cure or recover my child with autism, any of the three of them.
I’m done playing peacemaker, and finished playing nice.
What Autism Is, from One Special Needs Parent
Autism is a neurological disorder of the brain. WebMD says it is “…a brain disorder that often makes it hard to communicate with and relate to others. With autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together.”
To me, beyond the diagnosis, autism is part of the fabric that makes up this family. It allows one child to ask insistent questions about the world around him and never have enough answers. It allows another to work at least twice as hard as others to fit in with his classmates, even after overcoming all obstacles academically. And it allows one to finally … finally … be finding his voice in a unique and hopeful way at eight years old.
Our boys are autistic, it is part of who they are. Autism has colored all their memories of this world, the people they’ve met, and the people they have yet to meet.
But it’s part of who they are. I could no less take autism away from Bobby than I could dim his amazing smile. I couldn’t strip autism from the equation with Logan any more than I could stop him from giggling at the world around him. And I couldn’t pull autism from Andy any more than I could take his earnestness and goofy playing voices.
Autism is a part of who my children are. The very unique and amazing little men they are becoming.
Yes, sometimes autism is like a disease that takes our children’s ability to communicate, to deal with the world around them.
But that’s life. Autism is a part of that life. It’s a part of them.
What Autism is Not, at least According to this Special Needs Parent
Autism is NOT a disease like some cold. And the only treatment scientifically proven to help children diagnosed autistic is not a cure or even a type of recovery – it’s therapy and hard work, and sometimes emotionally scarring for the child to go through (according to some autistics who’ve written about it).
Autism is NOT a death sentence, and does NOT have to mean a child can’t function in society.
Autism is NOT an evil entity that devours our children, no matter how frustrated and angry the symptoms of autism can sometimes make us as we try to help our children.
Autism is NOT my child, but it IS a part of who they are. You can’t cure or recover a child who sees their world differently.
Sometimes, you have to look at the world a little differently to see how amazing children with autism are.
Your Turn: I realize not everyone will agree with me about how I view my children’s autism. I’d love to hear from you, regardless of whether you agree with my thoughts or not. I only ask the conversation remains respectful.
Autism at Lost and Tired’s Friday Forum
Note from Kat: Rob is a friend of mine, I connected with him early in my Cafe writing days and I like to think that we see things about autism similarly. He deals with much of the same kinds of issues that we do over here, from autism and epilepsy to rare disorders. His blog, Lost & Tired, is award-winning and a class act about honesty in blogging, just like Rob is.
I’m one of the moderators for the Lost & Tired Autism Help Forum, and I want to share is Friday Forum topics with you so you can be a part of the extended community Rob is offering there at the Autism Help forum. I’d love discussion here at the Cafe as well – but hope you will take the chance to visit the Lost & Tired Autism Forum as well!
My Thoughts on the 50 Cent comment of controversy – outrageous and sadly, a sign of the growing trend among many these days to turn the diagnosis of autism into the new r-word.
How so? Because if you do a search on Twitter you’ll see that people use the word “autism” and “autistic” like curse words, just like they do “retard.” It’s sad, and it happens too often. I support all efforts to increase language awareness, no matter what the words being used are. When they are used without regard to emotions and respect, that’s indicative of a larger problem in our society.
I’ll leave my thoughts here so you can join in with Rob’s thoughts on the matter, though. His summation is a great launching pad into the whole subject for you.
Welcome to another exciting edition of Lost and Tired’s, Autism Friday Forum.
I going to do this a bit differently today and instead of making this private, I’m going to move from the Autism Help Forums to the pubic setting. The reason for this is because I want to talk about something that happened this week on Twitter that has the autism community quite upset, and rightfully so.
Apparently, rapper 50 Cent made some derogatory comments via his Twitter account. These comments were in regards to #Autism and special needs kids in general. Many, many people, including myself, were offended by this. Here are the Tweets 50 Cent made this week:
yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic RT @yung_raditz @50cent Release the album or get shot again.
He went on to say:
i dont want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else
To my knowledge, he has yet to actually apologize. Actress and #Autism advocate, Holly Robinson Pete has publicly confronted 50 Cent in the form of an open letter. This is from Holly’s website:
Dear 50 Cent,
Since last night my twitter timeline is flooded with tweets and retweets about a response you posted to someone who insulted you. When I read it my heart sank. I thought maybe your account had been hacked. No such luck. Granted, his comment was completely out of line but your retort: “i just saw your picture fool you look autistic”- was so so disappointing. I mean, that’s your comeback?? And you didn’t stop there. You went on to joke about not wanting “special ed kids” on your timeline. Seriously, THIS is how you use your platform of 8 million plus followers??
I’ve met you in passing over the years and I know you are a bright, astute businessman and legitimate philanthropist so it is with a bit of sincere confusion that I ask you… Do you even know what autism is? And what exactly does “autistic” look like? Do you know how wildly prevalent autism is? 1 in 88 have it. That’s 1 in 54 boys. Families suffer a social stigma you will never know. It is a financial and emotional drain for millions, so our non-profit- HollyRod Foundation works hard to raise funds to help these families cope…
I hope you can see how what you might see as a benign insult-or not- was so randomly hurtful, immature and misinformed. Maybe you are naive or indifferent as to how many of your fans might be deeply and personally offended by your insult. At the very least-can you please delete it? If you’ve read your mentions today I am sure you have felt the wrath of autism parents. We are no joke. Neither is autism. We are not about to let you attempt to make “autistic” the new “R-word” under our watch.
Finally, this is my son Rodney Peete. He has autism. So I guess this is what autistic looks like? He is in special ed. He loves rap music and is a HUGE fan of yours. He’s a tremendous kid. He has to deal with so much trying to fit in. This isn’t helping.
Holly Robinson Peete
I want to open this up to discussion today and hear what you have to say about this. What are your thoughts and feelings about this? Also, Holly made a great point when she questions 50 Cent’s on using his platform of 8 million followers to bash Autism and special needs kids.