Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A personal perspective

There is a plethora of information, regarding the diagnosis, therapies, opinions, beliefs, causes, and so on, surrounding autism. So much so, that it can be very daunting for parents who have newly discovered a diagnosis of autism for their children.

I don't believe that persons with autism should be 'cured'. I believe we as loving parents and carers can work 'with' our kids and provide them with the quality of care and education, love and support that they (as with all children) need to enjoy quality of life (just as we hope for ourselves).

Celebrating achievements, progressive milestones, honouring their rights as valued human beings, helping overcome difficulties, 'walking along side them' and , especially, 'hearing' their 'voice' and listening to their wants and desires, are some of the things I perceive as being imperitive to loving and living alongside our babes (children), friends and other persons who have autism.
I am a devoted mother of three children, one son who has autism. Many other family members have autism, diagnosed and undiagnosed, too. Throughout the years of this experience, combined with the experiences of working with children with autism, I have learnt many things. One of the most important things I learnt was that we cannot presume to force 'normality' upon our children (with autism). To deny them their real selves; to quash their intrinsic selves and try to redesign them, finding a 'cure' (not a word in my vocabulary) and demanding they conform to our ways of thinking and behaviour, to me is disrespectful. Assisting the person with autism to live a quality, happy and meaningful life (for them) according to their 'design' and not ours, to me, is paramount.
As I get time, I hope to post links to the many interesting and real personal stories from people with autism. An important part of learning about autism, I feel, is to listen to these stories; hear the voices from their heart and soul.

Friday, October 19, 2007

.....what I hope to achieve.....

This blog is a re-birth of my original blog of a similar name. My intention, as this one grows, is to provide interesting and informative links, posts and input from and regarding real life accounts from persons with autism, via web site links and graciously offered stories and information, again from persons with autism who wish to share their stories and experiences. The purpose of such is to help mum's, dad's, carer's, grandparents (and others who are genuinely interested) in learning and understanding more about the real feelings, thoughts, experiences, achievements and hopes of persons with autism.
Though my areas of 'expertise' are as described to the right of this post, and I am a mum of 3 gorgeous (yes, I am biased) children, 1 who has autism, and other family members with autism, I maintain that the real 'experts' regarding autism are the many wonderful souls I know, and the ones I don't as yet know, with autism.
So many, whether they be the specialists, therapists and others involved in working with or diagnosing persons with autism, I can't help but feel are on the 'outside - looking in'.
Just as I am constantly learning, as I read a growing number of beautifully insightful 'personal stories of autism', I hope that such real life stories can be a source of greater understanding, support and enlightenment for those who don't have autism and wish to learn more.
Many such stories can be full of humour, descriptions of successes, awsome talents, beauty, sadness, happiness, trials and tribulations, life's passions and pains (and so on...), but above all are the real voices of autism.
I am also hoping to help, in my own small way, increase the opportunities for persons with autism to have their 'voice' heard and touch the heart and soul of others, as mine has been.