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Not Another Autism Blog

Autism is not going away anytime soon. Here is another perspective on the daily challenges

Everyone is an expert in the blogosphere, well except me.  That won’t stop me in 2013 because I’ve wanted to write about autism since my son was diagnosed at age two.  It his hard to believe he is 14 years old.  By now, you’d think I’d have the hang of raising a child with autism but I am still making mistakes.  By blogging maybe other families with younger autistic children can learn from my missteps. 

Yes, the HP Patch has already seen two previous autism blogs, however I will attempt to add another perspective on this growing epidemic.  I refer to it as an epidemic because 1 in 90 children is diagnosed with Autism.  At this astonishing rate, even if you don’t have a child with autism you probably know someone close to you who does have a child on the autism spectrum.  

An autism diagnosis is devastating.  Earlier on, while my friends still had aspirations of raising the first Jewish Female President of the United States I was frantically getting on waiting lists for the best Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Behavioral Therapist.  During this period, I lost touch with my core group who I shared the same left-leaning politics, interests, and sense of humor and made new friends that I had nothing in common with but autism.  All of a sudden I didn’t care if someone was a defense-of-marriage-act Republican, I just wanted to know if the gluten free diet they were feeding their kid with autism made any noticeable cognitive difference.  

Over the years, my autism circle has expanded to the point where we have many things in common.  I’ve also reconnected with my some of my high school and college friends.  However, at times there is still some awkwardness with the parents of NTs (Neuro-Typicals...the politically correct term for “normal kids”).  For example, as my friends are free to be spontaneous again, no longer scheduling sitters, I cannot make plans spur of the moment.   I wish I could share the following autism etiquette with them in person but only have the nerve to put in a blog: 

1. Please don’t tell me about the problems encountered bringing up a gifted child.  It does not make me feel better.  

2. Please don’t tell me that “it was meant to be”, “God’s plan”, “a gift”.  I would sell my soul so that my son wasn’t challenged everyday by the barriers of autism.

3. Please don’t be fooled by the media’s representation of autism.  It is not a quirky, fun label with a savant skill consolation prize.

In re-reading the above, I wish I could soften the tone and somehow convey the same message about autism.  I know I am lucky to have a child who can talk to me, express love and bring me joy daily.  I also know I am lucky to live in a community that has so many services for the developmentally disabled.  It gives me such relief to see those with learning challenges safely maneuvering their way on our public transportation, stores and streets.  Highland Park embodies the phrase It Takes a Village.  

I don’t know if I am wasting my time attempting the Patch’s third autism blog. To paraphrase the Violent Femmes, the world needs another autism blogger like I need a hole in my head.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Vicky Kujawa February 19, 2013 at 08:36 PM
lol Sully; I didn't realize that we were in a war!
Vicky Kujawa February 19, 2013 at 08:39 PM
We need cases of the 5-gallon wine jugs in the political forums.
Vicky Kujawa February 19, 2013 at 08:40 PM
.....make that truckloads!
Emily Nicol February 20, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Jill, my husband and I are looking to move to Highland Park or Deerfield within the next few months and we have 2 year old twins, one with autism and one without. Do you have any experience with therapists in your area that provide ABA, speech and OT, and is there one you would recommend? Also, what is your experience with the schools there...is there much bullying towards kids who are different? Any help or advice you have would be appreciated. Thanks!
Jill Goldstein February 21, 2013 at 12:30 AM
HI Emily: I think the kids in this area are very nice to the kids on the spectrum. Yes, I have therapist recommendations and I can put you in touch with other parents too for their recommendations. Feel free to email me at jcgoldstein@comcast.net

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