Sunday, March 13, 2011

Autism: A Lifelong Journey

My daughter is twenty-one now! I am glad to see there is so much more attention to this syndrome. When my daughter was diagnosed in 2000, there was not much research to pull from to assist me. Now there is enough to help families be successful in their journey. The Internet has great information, yahoo groups, forums, google, are all there to guide you in the right direction regarding services for your child.
At the time my daughter was diagnosed, we lived in a State where autism was a well known syndrome. I was a stat at home Mom, and getting her services was a full-time job! Between the private therapies and dealing with the School District, my days were full. But it paid off! She ultimately received five solid years of the therapies she needed during the correct window of time. There was speech and llanguage therapy, Occupational therapy, socialization skills, physical therapy, vision therapy, specialized dental work and counseling. We had wonderful professionals and a great "team." Today, my daughter enjoys reading, writing, artwork, and loves to advocate for herself! She still needs 24/7 adult supervision, but I am sure the early therapy she received helped her quality of life today.
Services are difficult to obtain in today's economy, but please don't give up! Networking online and off are good avenues to get the services you need. Attending workshops and conferences are a must, and I found volunteering on Advisory Boards extremely helpful.
Once you put together a great team, nothing is impossible!

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