Thank you for the great discussion yesterday and for keeping things moving. I felt as though we got a lot done! (Would have been more if technology had worked! Grrr..) It seems as though you all have a pretty good understanding of some of the main therapies out there for people with autism.
We have spoken a few times about Early Intervention- and how important that is! Early Intervention has become SO important to this population that a lot of states are now funding it! I have a friend who is an occupational therapist and her job is to make home visits with a team to little two and three year old kids who are not in school yet and to help train the child's parent how to better help them at home. In-home interventions are often available for families with a young child. There are also clinics and centers that can be visited as well.
I want you to watch the video that I attempted to show you in class. Remember the title? "Study Shows Treating Babies for Autism May Reduce Symptoms". Knowing that, watch the video and think about how the video comes across vs. the title.
Watch the video here.
Did you notice the difference? I very much appreciated the title saying that it can "reduce" the symptoms. But the family that they chose to portray acted as though their daughter was cured! I feel as though NBC made a huge blunder with this. It makes me sad to think of all of those people who will watch that video and think that a child can be cured!
The other video that I wanted to show you is about Art Therapy. Love this!
I'm going to begin this unit by sharing a few poems with you. This first poem was written by the mom of a child with a disability. I think it gives one side of the journey that some of these parents go through.
Here is another poem that shows more of the discouragement and sadness that parents of a child with autism face.
If You Only Knew
Submitted by KentPotter on Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:53.
If you only knew how difficult the road was to get here.
If you only knew the many tears that have been shed, the countless hours of therapy, the tests he has undergone, the fear that he has experienced, the ridicule he has endured, the times he has been laughed at, the frustration he has learned to live with.
If you only knew.
If you only knew the hours a mother and a father have spent trying to piece together the past and plan for the future.
If you only knew the amount of money, the friendships that have been lost, and the toll it has taken to get here.
If you only knew the crippling effects of depression that comes from watching your child struggle with the very basic activities of every day life.
If you only knew the cold stares from strangers, the whispers that have been overheard, the isolation that can come from not being able to "fix" the world that seems to never understand your son.
If you only knew the freedom that awaits when you learn to let go, and you open your heart in acceptance of what is.
If you only knew that a family can become stronger, that wounds can heal.
If you only knew the potential for how deep and wide love can truly be.
If you only knew the happiness that can be found if you simply open your eyes to what is around you.
If you only knew my Sam, you would know that anything is possible.
I think this poem is heartbreaking. I believe this is how many more parents feel as opposed to the "Welcome to Holland Poem". Coming up in class we will read a follow-up poem to "Welcome to Holland" from a parent of a child with autism. It's humorous, but also a bit more of a realistic view.
Don't get me wrong, I think "Welcome to Holland" is a beautiful poem. I remember reading it in one of my college classes a few years ago and thinking "What an amazing outlook for a parent to have!" and I believe that most parents feel that way at different times of their lives. But from my experience, it seems as though the poem gives just warm-fuzzies and leaves out some of the harsh realities, especially the realities that come from having a child with autism.
Lastly, I want you to watch this last video. This is one of my favorite videos! I always feel as though the love between father and son just radiates through the computer screen. It's hard not to leave this video with a smile on my face!
You all are doing a great job. Keep up the good work!