Monthly Archives: April 2014

INSIGHTS FROM PARENT ADVOCATES

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Happy African American Father and Mixed Race Son Talking in the Park.

As we think about the amazing parent advocates we work with, and the countless conversations with thoughtful parents, itseems like a good time to highlight some common points they have shared.

  • Get Support:  Be proactive about this.  You will need to continuously seek out a relevant support system to help you in this journey.  Don’t expect that your current friends or family members will have all the resources you need.
  • Educate Yourself: What is the current science and medicine for autism treatment?  Connect with other parents and share your collective insights and information.
  • Intensive Early Intervention:  Learn about providers in your area.  How experienced and qualified are their supervisors?  What type of ABA methods do they use?
  • Get Help Strengthening Your Marriage and Communication: How do you problem solve?  Working well as a team and partnership will make all the difference as your family moves through this process.
  • Get Support Preparing for Your First IEP: Learn what you will need to prepare and what your rights are.  Take a friend or family member to have support with you.  Consider finding a good special education attorney just in case.
  • Think Five Years Ahead: Keep looking ahead.  Talk to other parents and gain the benefit of their experience.  Work with a professional to begin conducting job and leisure sampling for your child.
  • Don’t Lose Sight of Community Focus: What will your child need to learn now and later to be an active member of their community?
  • Work on Safety Skills: Be mindful of all the ways your child needs support to be safe.  Not just crossing the street but also learning about sexuality and the related safety concerns. 

Visit the AST Journey Map for more guidance on your families journey with autism.

 

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AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH

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By: Ronit Molko

Like many pregnant women, I spent a lot of time during my first pregnancy worrying about whether my child would have autism or down’s syndrome, as those were the developmental disorders most commonly seen and talked about. I was working at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA at the time and the psychiatrist who was supervising my work sat me down one day in front of a large book about developmental and genetic disorders and told me that if I was going to spend my time worrying, I should give equal time to every possible thing that could go wrong for my unborn baby. I realized at that moment, that instead of riding the wave of this state of panic that is so easily encouraged in our society, I could change my own attitude and focus on helping to shift the fears and ideals of our population to something more authentic, proactive and meaningful.
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