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.

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