Monday, August 13, 2012

There is Always Hope

                Today I am an Autism Mom, but 6 years ago the only thing I knew about autism was a news report stating the numbers were now 1 in 250; that is all. After my son I learned (and am still learning) so much about autism, so much in fact that I’ve become an advocate for those with autism and an activist fighting for better studies, better care and a better understanding of those diagnosed with autism. My son and I are a team, we work together in this journey and boy does he work.

When he was born his father chose the name Atticus, after Atticus Finch a character in the book To kill a mocking bird. He chose this name because in the book Atticus, to him was the perfect person and after reading the book I understood and thought it was perfect. Today, years after autism has come into our lives, he feels a bit differently. Now he feels that the name is perfect because he feels that our son is turning him into Atticus Finch.

Atticus has severe regressive autism, he was also diagnosed as non-verbal and with this comes many difficulties. Through all these difficulties we ourselves have changed, we have a better understanding of those with “special needs” (I kinda dislike that term) and we have learned that what the majority think of things like autism; simply aren’t true. Like those with autism (or other ‘special needs’) are less intelligent, cannot understand, cannot relate, cannot have an imagination, cannot recover, cannot be successful in life etc. There are no cannots in this house, we have dropped ‘mainstream’ falsities and we all strive every day to work through the things we were told cannot be done.
Although my views are that as a parent and not a person with autism, I understand a lot of what people with autism are experiencing. I owe my son and other with autism for this; if not for you I would only know the technicalities and not the personal experience. The world is seen in a whole new light now because of understanding. I hope that my posts will help other parents, I hope that other parents who have a child on the severe end of the spectrum to see past all the gloom and heartache and above all I want to give parents hope. Hope that not all is lost, that the mainstream knowledge of autism is outdated and that ‘recovery’ is possible.

I can promise one thing with my posts; I don’t hold back. I will tell you like it is without skipping the bad stuff. I will challenge your ideas about autism, medicine and mainstream.

My name is Nicole and I am an Autism Mom

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