Sunday, January 23, 2011

Open Invitation to Follow Our Journey with Autism

Please feel free to follow along, and read what it is like to raise a child with autism. You will read from both perspectives, as I do write from my perspective and input from my daughter. My mission is to educate both parents and their children. Autism, sometimes called, "Pervasive Developmental Disorder," is a complex syndrome which affects each child differently. There are enough similarities to write an interesting and useful blog. Many of the tips I have learned over the years came from other Moms who had children with challenges. Most of the time, a child on the autism spectrum has other challenges they are trying to juggle. Sensory Integration happens to be one of the challenges that seems to go along with an autism diagnosis.

I look forward to interacting with you, and sharing what we have learned during our twenty year journey. In turn, I hope you will share your tips and strategies. Autism is complicated, just as is getting the services needed to help our children. I would love to hear some success stories!
Thank you to Blogger for the opportunity to communicate with each other.

Autism, Sharing our Daily Ups and Downs

My daughter has requested I write about our experience with autism. She and I both feel there are many families struggling to get services for their children with challenges.
There is no "best way" to present this information, so I will go back to the beginning and write about the journey we took.
My child was not diagnosed with any challenges until she had her Pre-Kindergarten screening. We had taken her to her well check-ups, but the professionals did not have the information they have access to now. After having two other children, I knew this child was different. Many visits to the Doctor during her first five years left us without answers, and we were frustrated! Many times we were told, "She will grow out of it." Guess what? She did not grow out of it.
I was lucky, I stayed home and was available to educate myself about the therapies she needed.
Once she began Kindergarten, it was obvious she needed Special Education and related services. In order to get the services she needed, she had to qualify for  I.D.E.A.  This funding would provide her with an Individual Education Plan, tailored to the services which would help her succeed in school.

Diagnostic Summary-The beginning of an I.E.P.

The child's Individual Education Plan is molded from the Diagnostic Summary.Before any evaluations can be done, the parent must give written consent. Each child is entitled to a "Free and Appropriate Public Education.  When a child requires Special Education, the goals and objectives are written Individually on the I.E.P. by the child's team. The team is made up of a Special Education teacher, a Regular Education teacher, one or both parents, a Principal or Assistant Principal, and any professional who has contact with the child. We had the Occupational Therapist, a Speech and Language professional, a Physical Therapist, and an Advocate at most of my child's meetings. When she got older, my child attended the meetings, also.
The Diagnostic Summary is a written instrument used to guide the team with writing the child's I.E.P. There are many areas covered by the diagnostic summary. The child is evaluated in these areas before the team has a meeting to analyze the results. The areas evaluated include: vision, hearing, speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, socialization and any area which may effect educational benefit.
Although our journey began when my child was five years old, it is possible now to receive services for "Early Intervention" at age three.

Raising A Child With Autism: Preview "Autism, Sharing our Daily Ups and Downs"

Raising A Child With Autism: Preview "Autism, Sharing our Daily Ups and Downs"