Monday, July 27, 2009

It Is Not all About Autism

While planning for, working with and advocating for Sam occupies a lot of my time, there is another child in this house for whom I am responsible. Our amazing daughter Maya is 14 months old and she is racing past milestones. She loves to play with toys, feed and kiss her "babies", carry "purses" around the house, dress up, and play outside. While Sam attends ESY this July, I get to spend one on one time with Maya - something I haven't been able to do since last July. This is the final week of Sam's ESY program and although he will receive some ABA in August, it will not be as intensive as regular school. I am relishing each day this week and trying to maximize my quality time with my girl!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things I Hate to Hear

I check Autism message/support social network sites occansionally and I often read comments like "everything happens for a reason"and "this is what was meant to be". That kind of stuff really gets under my skin. Usually it is framed in some sort of religious context although not always. It troubles me that people can believe God just decided to start striking our kids with this devastating disorder. I DO believe in a very powerful life force that I call God but I believe what happens to us is largely due to our own actions and those of our society. I don't understand how some people can say things like "everything happens for a reason" or "this was meant to be" and still maintain that they have free will.

I know that sometimes these comments are just meant to encourage people to find the good in a situation. The belief that everything happens for a reason might lead one to search for that reason and glean something meaningful and positive. That is a good way to live but I still can't jive with some great wizard in the sky pointing his wand and saying "Autism for you!"

My son was not meant to be like this. It could be genetics, spontaneous mutation, pollution, shots, water filled with prescription drugs, or some other toxic chemical but I believe WE did this. WE, meaning my husband and I, possibly passing on some genetics defect, or WE, meaning society, poisoning our children. It is probably a WE that includes both of those things and maybe something more. Call on God for strength or comfort or peace but as the creator of Autism? No, that is all us.

Autism was not "meant to be". It just is.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


We have something going on here that I really wasn't sure would ever happen - Sam is using the toilet! He has a week and a half off from school (he went back this past Monday). The school has repeatedly told me not to try potty training at home until he was on a 2 hour schedule at school. I respected their wishes until this break. I felt that putting him in diapers the whole time would be a waste. It took about 2 days for him to "get" that what he did at school was the same thing as what we were going for on the home toilet. Then he stayed dry the rest of the week. He won't request the bathroom but as long as I take him on a regular basis, he pees like a champ. Poop is a whole other story. I have known some typical children who took 6 months or more to poop in the toilet so I imagine I am in for months of undie washing. I happened to catch him squatting this afternoon though and I grabbed him and ran him to the bathroom. We had a success and he got a lollipop right away. I don't imagine that any light bulbs went off in his head but hopefully I will "catch" him as often as I can! SO, is he potty trained? No, but he is at least on the way.