Saturday, April 04, 2009

Are You Aware? IV

Some of my favorite links for awareness include little essays and stories about being a special needs parent. How did I feel about parenting and parents before I had a special needs child? How do I now relate to those Other Parents, the ones who are living a life that now seems so far away from mine. How can I explain to those Others what parenting is in my life? How do we reforge those connections of "Parent"?

One of the essays I liked early on was Mother at the Swings by Vicki Forman. It describes a scene I find myself in so often- being at the playpark, with one of those Other Parents who want to connect, and don't know how, but are trying their best. The paradox of isolation while standing with Others doing with they are doing is something I related to at once.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Are You Aware? III

When researching autism, it is a good idea to consider a wide variety of experiences. A good place to look for a variety of blogs is the Autism Hub.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Campaign update

Last month we started charting out a number of campaigns to encourage independence. So... how are they going?

Well, if you were expecting me to come back a month later and report spiffy rooms, made beds, yummy sandwiches, and new jeans put on by a child who spent the whole night in his own bed, then excuse me while I laugh myself silly. I believe these days are all coming, but such campaigns are kind of like IEP goals- see where you are a year from now.

However, if you were expecting, like me, just some progress towards the goals, then we're doing just fine. Mostly. Considering we've had a rough patch (ah, spring...), any progress is a victory. I don't expect any serious progress until we can get through the rough bits and really focus on the campaign goals.

Joey has successfully made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with some help. Our first step into a wider world. I have purchased wheat flour, yeast, and honey, but have not really gotten to open up the Elmo cookbook and get going. I need to either improve my prep skills so I can be cooking with two kids at once, or I need to create more one-on-one time for my guys.

The bed-making campaign has not been started. That will probably be easier to start after we get him to sleep in his own bed all night- which we also haven't started. They aren't little long. I am torn, though I know it is a good thing for forwarding independence- I will miss waking up with a little guy snuggled in.

Dressing has been tricky. I have him consistently dressing himself, including picking out his own clothes, taking off his pajamas, and putting on all his clothing independently, but we still haven't added fasteners. I have, however, managed to get some jeans as hand-me-downs from a friend in his size, so we're ready to try.

However, I think we'll be taking a brief break here, as Joey has his turn at Grandma's getting spoiled tomorrow. He's earned it.

Are You Aware? II

Part of being aware is knowing people who are autistic, and knowing families with autistic loved ones. A great way to understand autism and and remove the fear is to read blogs related the experience of the autism community.

So today I'd like to bring out one of the best-written ad affirming blogs on living with autism: Whitterer on Autism. Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Are You Aware?

I am celebrating Autism Awareness Month by posting links I think people new to the autism community should know about- places and faces and organizations that everybody would be better off knowing.

My plan is to do this every day. Please place your bets on whether I manage this. Ha ha ha.

Anyway, my first link?

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. You'll know a lot more about autism when you know a lot more autistic people. Joey teaches me a lot, but when I am working for autistic services and right generally, its not enough to know just my son. Also, on of our goals is to help Joey be able to advocate effectively for himself- no one knowshis needs better than him.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We Are All Unique

Here comes Autism Awareness Month. Let's work hard to bring in real awareness of the uniqueness of all individuals, including autistic people. Respect for everyone is key to a bright future for all of us.