I’m sure most of you have met that “particular” well meaning friend or “aunt” whose closest experience to dealing with autism is watching a cousin or a relative grow-up and sharing those experiences.
Nothing wrong with sharing, but I do beg to disagree when that well-meaning friend tries to convince me that I didn’t really have to work so hard for my speech delayed son to start talking.
She proceeds to tell me about a relative (grown up now) who outgrew autism to finish college at a good private university. She told me that the mother didn’t really do much, but the girl now grown, had no friends and just stayed at home after university.
Since that must have been years ago, I realized that the mother probably did not do much because there weren’t that many forms of intervention available during those days apart from the typical OT or Speech therapy the typical doctor would normally prescribe.
Not everyone though is as lucky as that mom in the story. Not everyone just “outgrows” autism.
It got me thinking about all the things a lot of the wonderful hands-on parents I have been blessed enough to meet. Here are a few things that these parents’ have done over the years since we’ve all been together:
- Join a support group with a more open view of autism
- Study about allergies and diets and the connection to gut
- Visit alternative doctors
- Try various forms of therapy
- Integrate a home program for our kids.
- Change the diet. Gluten free. Cassein free. Get rid of processed foods.
- Visit a special education doctor and get a long list of things to do.
- Make our homes as chemical free as possible
- Meet and interview parents whose children had recovered.
- Address sensory issues i.e. auditory AIT
- Experiment with visual teaching methods that are suitable for the child
- Compare notes on schools and therapists with other mom friends
- Ask to observe your child’s therapy sessions.
It also got me thinking. No matter how bad it gets, we parents today are luckier than the parents who had to go through this same issue 10 to 30 years ago.
There are more opportunities for the children and more alternatives for parents out there. Parents also have more access to information than before. People are also more aware of autism.
Always remember to do your research. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing something that you believe will benefit your child in the long run.