Happy New Year!
I just came across this blog post regarding the impact Autism has on families — specifically, what parents go through when the diagnosis is received. I found myself nodding along, chuckling, tearing up and saying “exactly.” I wanted to share it.
The Impact of Autism on Families
So, basically, what I’m gathering from various “experts” I’ve come in contact with, is that I’m not supposed to play with Emily.
I am never to enter her world, but rather, she must be dragged, kicking and screaming, into “our world.”
Everything is a “behavior” that needs to be corrected, addressed with some type of therapy and eliminated.
Why is everything my kid does related to Autism? Why is every moment of every day supposed to be spent changing things… changing… her. Don’t most kids in her age group play? Aren’t most parents allowed to play along?
For example, just yesterday, I was once again reprimanded for “playing along” with Emily’s scripts (or delayed echolalia, if you wish).
Yes, I’m fully aware of the irony/hypocrisy of listing echolalia as the behavior to target, then complaining when it’s targeted. Just… go with it.
Yesterday, I attended the first of three parent training sessions required by the Regional Center of which Emily is a client.
The training basically familiarizes you with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), its history, techniques, purpose, and how to apply techniques at home (along with having an ABA therapist come in, of course).
To be honest, I was dreading attending, because the paperwork I received in the mail was quite… serious, I guess is the best word; serious in tone, overwhelming in general.
However, it was very enjoyable. I think the fact that it’s a group environment makes it less intimidating. Hearing other parents discuss their child’s strengths and challenges is wonderful, as well. There’s a sense of camaraderie that is just so comforting.
My homework for this week is to observe Emily doing her main “problem” behavior six times and log the details. Since it’s just a baseline to chart progress with, I’m not supposed to apply any techniques learned in class yet. This is, as they put it, a way to find out what she was like “yesterday.”