Although our family deals with autism on a daily basis, it has thankfully taken a backseat to our everyday lives. I'm so thrilled I can write that. For so long, autism was first and foremost in our home. Everything revolved around Jayce and his diagnosis and his therapies. It was exhausting, I'm not going to lie.
And although we have not officially lost any labels (He will get re-evaluated when he is 6), Jayce has made so much progress in catching up in his developmental delays, most people cannot tell he is even on the spectrum.
To that, I say THANK YOU to all the hardworking therapists we've had over the past 3 years. Emily, Melissa M., Candy, Christen, Melissa H., Kay, Kelli, Kimberly, Cat, Meg, Samantha, Melody, Cindy, and Allie. Jayce has come so far because of you all.
Its easy to forget for a moment that we deal with autism. First of all, its not some big scary thing to me anymore. That word does not predict my son's future. It does not tell you what things he can or cannot do. It simply means his brain is wired differently than most people's and sometimes he has to be taught in a special way in order to learn new things. That's all. He's still my Jayce.
I was very honored to be contacted by R.K. Albers on behalf of the author Ken Siri, a parent of a child with autism. Bloggers, like myself, were able to preview an electronic version of Siri's new book, 1,001 Tips for the Parents of Autistic Boys for ourselves.
Wow.... one thousand and one tips really add up! This is such a comprehensive book about real-life practical situations and advice on how to find solutions. I'm only 76 tips in with my reading and I'm already nodding my head on absolutely everything. Where was this book 3 years ago??? I am so fortunate that I had many friends that helped lead me in the right direction, but it still took months and years to glean all the information I needed to make informed choices. This book can give you all that information in one sitting!
I love Siri's point of view and agree with it 100%. Autism is not something that can be "cured", but your child can recover from the symptoms and defining characteristics. You have to both act as an educated researcher AND a fighting advocate for your child. I always joke that my college education hasn't done much to prepare me to be a house-wife, but it sure did prepare me for being the parent of a child with autism. I do my research on everything now. What study did I just read? Who conducted it? What was their motive? Who footed the bill for the study? What do the results mean for us?
I've never fancied myself as a political person in the past. But if some government leader is threatening my son's program with budget cuts, I can get as political as necessary. I've never been interested in Law before now, but I had to bone up on some Educational Law as soon as Jayce entered the school system.
Siri spells all this out for new parents. Some topics he covers includes:
-how to make your child's label equal services
-trusting your gut as a parent and getting second professional opinions
-a lesson on IDEA, Free and Appropriate Public Education, Least Restrictive Environment, and school IEPs.
-the many different therapy styles and choices
And many, many more!
I can't wait to finish! Now I just need some free time :)