ARM is thankful for the little victories.
- A non-contentious IEP meeting
- “Growing out” of echolalia
- An afternoon of fewer meltdowns
- Progress in speech therapy
- A successful get-together!
- Laughter, hugs and more hugs
- Stepping up to new challenges and responsibilities
- Trying a new food
- Active self-advocacy
- Hearing your child say to you, “I love you, mom.”
Happy Thanksgiving from Autism Resource Mom
Last week we attended a Meet and Greet with a fabulous student panel at CLE Costa Mesa. CLE is College Living Experience [http://experiencecle.com/]. OMG, those students sold the program, in my opinion. Hearing them talk about their experiences living on their own, with roommates, attending college, managing their time, their studies and everything else, well, it was an eye-opener.
At first my son did not want to be there. “I’m very uncomfortable and we need to leave,” he whispered to me. I suggested he wait in the hall, because I was interested and wanted to stay. He couldn’t have been too uncomfortable, because he didn’t leave. And in fact, it wasn’t long before he was actually smiling about some of the remarks being made. Then one guy uttered a Kurt Cobain quote and my son was ready to sign up! A huge grin crossed his face, he leaned in and was totally engaged.
He kept thanking me for “letting him” go to the meeting. And he talked about it and the students for the next few days.
We haven’t applied yet, but we will for sure dig deeper. If you’re looking for a support program for your child who attends college, be sure to check out CLE. And if you have experience with a similar support program, please let us know!
We sold more books! ‘Teaching My Teacher About Autism,’ written by Debora Smith and her son, Drew.
Meeting parents, families and individuals with autism at the OC Walk Now for Autism on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Irvine. Great day, great people!
Debora L. Smith, Autism Resource Mom.
Crowds at OC Walk Now for Autism.
As the mom of a teen with ASDs, I know I am fortunate. My son needs some supports but he has great strengths and gifts, too. Yet I can understand how families whose loved ones are more severely impacted might welcome medical advances that would perhaps give their child speech or help draw him out of his shell, etc. With a spectrum disorder one size does not fit all.
Today I attended an informational hearing with California State Senator Lou Correa and members of the State Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders, where folks from UC Irvine’s Center for Autism Research and Translation (CART) and the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders presented their request for support from the state for their research efforts.
I sincerely hope that an organization with its power and sway will equally see the merit of providing as much raw enthusiasm and funding toward support services for individuals with autism as they do for research into a ‘cure.’ As it stands, right now there are scores of people in need of services ranging from speech and occupational therapy to job coaching and independent living skills. Right now.
Then I come home to discover that John Elder Robison has severed ties with Autism Speaks. Among the irreconcilable differences he cites is along the same lines as what I stated above regarding the need for services for individuals with autism: ‘…Unfortunately, the majority of the research Autism Speaks has funded to date does not meet those needs, and the community services are too small a percentage of total budget to be truly meaningful. We have delivered very little value to autistic people, for the many millions raised. …’
Read his entire statement here: http://jerobison.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-resign-my-roles-at-autism-speaks.html
Wow. Mr. Robison’s actions speak volumes.
Check out the numerous comments to Suzanne Wright’s article. http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/autism-speaks-washington-call-action
While I have applauded many of the efforts of Autism Speaks, as the mom of a 17-year-old I can totally understand where Mr. Robison is coming from.
Maybe the best solution doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Can’t we have balanced efforts into treatments/supports and research? Since when did they have to be mutually exclusive?
The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders is offering a parent workshop on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 6 to 8 pm. There’s a cost attached — $25 per family. See below for more details.