Monday, January 5, 2009

Autism Realities

There's no one way to deal with, understand or treat autism. In the second chapter "The Realities", I try to show that this affliction is only a part of your child. We don't believe that autism is their definition any more than big feet or blonde hair would be. Is your daughter a red-haired girl, or is she really just a girl who happens to have red hair? You may not think there's a difference, but when it comes down to it, hair color is just one aspect. She probably has some odd quirks too, but you wouldn't call her "our odd daughter" (alright, maybe you would; I don't know you). But really: I hope you can see what I mean.

Regardless, you will find people who look at Autistics (big "A") as a culture; a group of neuro-diversity advocates who strive to encourage society to accept them or their family members for who they are. These are generally higher functioning autistics who do not seek treatment or a cure; rather, they live for inclusion of autistics the way they are. That's not to in any way say this group is wrong. Instead, this is another facet of the condition for you to research and consider.

In this chapter the anecdote "Same Child, Different Day" explains how we came to the decision that, not only is Nolan the same child he was the day before his diagnosis, but that we were not going to treat him differently either. As the last sentence of the short story says: "We refuse to let his condition cripple him and decided not long ago that he will graduate from high school; in that way, he's no different from his siblings."

One thing though: we didn't want this booklet to be clinical or dry. On the contrary; I try to keep you entertained throughout. But as with any good self-help manual, it's nice to have a glossary of terms; something to explain some of the concepts you just might come in contact with. What a coincidence: I included that here as well!

In the most formal part of the booklet, I have listed a few definitions for many terms you may encounter. From ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) to Thiomersal (or Thimerisal), there are explanations to nearly 30 of these concepts, and I hope they shed some light.

In fact, I hope you find that the entire booklet sheds some light for you. But if you still have questions or to order bulk copies, please email me.


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