Going Primal! 

I am honestly enjoying the process of writing my book so much and I’m super excited to see it coming together. A huge thank you to all of you who have been cheering me on! The following is an extract from the book that I wanted to share with you. The Chapter is entitled: Going Primal! 

Here goes….

My normally laid back and easy going self switched into a different gear, one I didn’t know I had. Kiddo at sixteen months of age was different to how he had been three months ago and I was overcome with a primal determination to find out why. Once a Mama goes primal- watch out! 

The answer that was slowly dawning on me was that autism had happened, or was happening. People have said things to me like ‘well, a Mother just knows’ and ‘you have a teaching degree, of course you knew what to look for.’

Both are incorrect. I didn’t ‘just know’. Infact I knew nothing about child development.  As for the teaching degree I had majored in social science and religion for high school aged teens. A world away from infants and their behavior. 

My formal counseling training in self awareness and self reflection was the one part of my educational background that helped me a lot on the road to a formal diagnosis. I had learned to examine my thought processes, record them and know that I could really trust them, and therefore trust myself.

I was going to rely heavily on this skill over the next few months as there would be many educated health professionals that would lead me to second guess myself. 

I would hear things like ‘lets just wait and see’ and ‘he is just being a boy’. Also ‘you are being an overly anxious first time mother’ and my personal favorite ‘your child does not have autism… If he has autism I will eat my hat’.

That assessment came from a medical doctor.

Well- That’s it! …. Just a small sound bite from the book. A short post I know- but I also needed a reason to share with you this gorgeous pic of Kiddo I took recently  Xx Kaz

Ps – have a great week !

 

Be Nice To The Autism

One of the current goals I am working on with my son is expanding his expressive language. It basically involves using a variety of different prompts to let him know he needs to give me more language.  It started with a verbal prompt, then just a gesture, we then faded the prompt to a facial expression that says ‘you need to expand on that sentence buddy!’ Yes, believe it or not, there is a face for that! Now it’s just ‘wait’ time. If I pause then he knows he needs to stretch out that sentence before I will respond.

It’s been going really well and it’s actually pretty adorable and thrilling to hear him expand on his thoughts out loud.

So the other day Kiddo and I went for a drive to run some errands and we were passing through some beautiful countryside, feeling happy and just enjoying the sunshine.  Kiddo was looking relaxed and staring out of the car window when he made this comment out of nowhere:

‘I’m nice.’

I immediately jumped in with an enthusiastic ‘Kiddo !! Your ARE nice!!!’

Kiddo then repeated himself very slowly: ‘Ummm.. I’m nice ….I’m nice … Ummm… ‘.  I knew immediately I had interrupted his train of thought. The wheels were still turning. He does this at times. Repeats something and I can tell he is still searching. Searching for the words, a way to construct the words into a sentence, and a way to match the thoughts in his head to the words that come out of his mouth. It’s labor intensive for him.

So I zipped my lip and waited.

Kiddo: ‘I’m nice to SOME people.’

A long pause from him then slowly… ‘But I am not nice to some other people.’ I waited again. I could just tell he wasn’t finished. Long pause from him again. He was looking out the window then he turned his head toward me and said ‘I need to be nice to the autism.’  My chest tightened up and I felt the tears sting my eyes.

Kiddo continued oblivious to me trying to keep it together next to him.

‘I need to be nice to my autism.’

Then he turned away and looked out the car window again… lost in his thoughts.   He was finished. The conversation was over.

I said quietly: ‘Yes buddy … I know… It’s so true …’

My boy has not talked too much about autism of late since we explained his diagnosis to him a few months ago. This talk in the car was an exception. It was just the tiniest of glimpses for me into my own child’s personal journey towards self acceptance. No mean feat given the many roadblocks he faces on a daily basis.

What a privilege it was that I got to be there, sitting beside him, the one to witness such a moment.

Be nice to the autism. My autism.

I hear you Kiddo. I hear you.

Early Intervention: a reflection

‘That’s INTENSE!’

I said this the other day and my son asked me ‘What is intense Mummy?’ I replied: ‘It’s when something is really Full On…then you say ‘that’s  intense’!’ Not my finest definition, especially given that I am not sure Kiddo understands what ‘full-on’ means.  It was all I could come up with in the moment.

The word INTENSE and my definition to my son landed in my head again when thinking about the topic of Autism and Early Intervention for this post.  To be honest, I have had this post about Early Intervention sitting on my desk top (half written) for about six months now…the working title has been:  Early Intervention: The key to what….exactly?

Every article in the known universe, and every professional working in the field of autism says Early Intervention IS.THE.KEY. My question is ‘The key to what exactly?’

Best outcomes, or even better outcomes for your child, right? That’s a little bit of ‘therapeutic  jargon’  I have been thinking I would like to unpack-by asking some more questions of course!

What does ‘best outcomes’ even mean? What does that look like?  What does that look like for my child. For my family? In my real life?  My Kiddo celebrated his sixth birthday last week.  By most accounts a child ages out of early intervention around this age. What ‘outcomes’ has my son achieved by the grand old age of six? Do I need to wait until he is an adult to know the real answer to the ‘better outcomes’ question?   What happens when the early intervention stops? What’s next?

Does ‘Early Intervention’ live up to the hype?

For me early intervention was long.  My son was just a baby by autism therapy standards when he started out with intervention at 19 months of age.  That’s about 4.5 years worth of an intensive therapy program -a long stretch by anyone’s standards.  The years did not fly by either.  It was a long time, and it felt like a long time.

It was also effort. HUGE amounts of effort.  It was money. A lot, seriously A LOT, of money.  It was hard work. Damn hard work.  For all the time, effort and money…did it do what ‘they’ say it would do?

Well…yes and no.  This is where things get a bit tricky. My own opinion of what ‘good outcomes’ are has evolved and changed over the past 4.5 years.  My understanding about autism has changed.

When my child was first diagnosed I was not given much hope of ‘good outcomes’ for him.  I was secretly hoping the professionals had got it wrong.  The diagnosis that is. If he just starts talking I thought…then he won’t have autism anymore.  I was hoping the whole mysterious autism thing would somehow, magically, just go away. The same way is had appeared. ..from out of the clear blue sky…from nowhere anyone could really explain.

Then I started to read up and talk to more professionals, and then I realised that autism was not going to just go away (dare I say ‘Jenny McCarthy on Oprah show’ style). So  I clung on to Early Intervention as “THE ANSWER”, even “THE CURE”.  The holy grail for me was “NORMAL”.

By the time my son was the grand old age of TWO I was so exhausted from the fear, the pressure, the isolation and the work load I started to literally feel sick.  I was crawling on my hands and knees to bed at night because my legs would no longer hold me up.  Out of sheer necessity I started to make a shift. I began reading and watching clips by Temple Grandin (an adult with autism) and I started to redefine autism as a different way of processing the world. A different way of thinking.  Different not less.  ‘I love my child, but I hate the autism’ was how I felt now.  I still wanted to kick autism in the groin. Hard.

By the time my son was age THREE I felt differently again.  I was seeing my son’s personality getting stronger and stronger.  He had now been in therapy for almost half his life now. I started to think less about autism and more about him as his own person. He was a joy!   Hard work still. But I had  more of an ‘it is what is it’ attitude. That crippling fear I had that somehow autism was going to rob me of my child was gone.

By the age of FOUR the three things they (the diagnosing professionals) said may never happen-had happened.  My son was toilet trained (day and night), verbal (delayed but definitely verbal) and he was a socially interested and socially motivated child.  Also his cognition was proving to be on-par with typically developing peers.  At diagnosis it was stated that he was intellectually ‘at risk’. I now started to view developmental assessment reports more as opinions and guidelines, rather than fact or truth.

By FIVE my son was headed into a mainstream class with supports.   I now had to make a shift again. I knew my son was not going to have the kind of autism that could ‘fly under the radar’- as I had seen with other kiddo’s on the autism spectrum.  It was time to let this one go.  I started to work more towards others being accepting and understanding of my son’s differences. I started to model this with intention..and I started to write this blog. I felt it was time for the world to see that this was not a one way street. The world needed to do their part to meet my son half way so to speak.   He sure as heck had done his part.

Now my son is SIX.  Today it is about my son being his best autistic self.  Autistic is a term embraced by those with autism-so now it is fine by me.  Talking and listening to autistic adults (Ibby, Karla, Sparrow Rose, Jonathon and more) has been something I wish I had done more of early on, but I am here now and I am listening to their words.  It has been liberating actually.

For our family today best outcomes means our son is safe, competent and loved (thank you Bill Nason on FB’s ‘Autism Discussion Page’ ).  Sure there are days when I want to wish away the painful struggles that come with autism. I am happy to say in terms of us going forward that EARLY Intervention for my son was not really ‘the key’ but more of a foundation. One that he can continue to build on in the years ahead.  I guess my son will be the judge, and I know the day will come when he will share with me about how he found those ‘early intervention years’ and be giving me and hubby some performance feedback.  Fingers crossed- I hope we did good!  Early intervention was not only about my son however, it also put me on a steep learning curve about life, differences, disability and autism, gave me a different perspective on what is important, and put me in contact with many amazing and wonderful people, and families.   Early intervention really has been the key for me to change.

Bigger than a Point of View

Kiddo enjoying the view

Kiddo enjoying the view

Last night on Australian commercial television a program called “Sunday” aired that addressed autism, ABA and Early Intervention.  I watched it and then ‘checked in’ with social media to see how it was being received.  Whew!  Controversy Central.  And that’s the way it often is with autism.  So many experiences. So many stories. So many points of view.  So much passion. It must be hard for the general public to get a clear read on what we in the (rather large and ever-expanding) autism community want them to know.

Here’s just a snippet of what is out there in blogs, articles, books, research and TV shows. Try getting your heads around this folks…

There is the ‘Autism is a Tragedy’ point of view versus the ‘Autism Rocks/Sparkles/Is My  Superpower’ point of view.  I get how people could arrive at either one of these points of view.

Then there is the ‘If there was a Cure for autism I would not give it to my child’ point of view versus the ‘If there was a Cure for autism I could give it to my child in a heartbeat’. Get it. Get both.

The ‘Cure’ view point leads to the Cause view point which leads to the diet, chemicals, pollution, vaccinations, antibiotics, maternal stress, parental age and just about every other thing on planet earth as a possible CAUSE of autism.

I get why autistic people and parents of older ASD children are tired of hearing about the latest Cause of autism and quite frankly maybe just don’t care.

Let’s take the two ‘biggies’ of possible Causes:  vaccinations and diet.

If your child was talking, social, laughing, happy and then they had a vaccination, immediately got a fever and then 48 hours later your child was screaming, head banging, non-verbal, with no eye contact, I can see how you would believe vaccines were to blame.  I get that.

I also get that if you had five kids all fully vaccinated and only one had an ASD and all the research you read said the vaccine-autism link was non-existent, how you would passionately defend vaccinations.

I get why parents write in their blogs about the details of their efforts to potty train their 9 year old child with autism.  I get why autistic adults find that demeaning.

I get why parents use positivity, humour, sarcasm and snark to share their experiences of raising their child.

I get why adults with autism want to be known as autistic adults.  Why they see their autism as an intrinsic part of who they are, not as a separate part of their lives. I also get why others advocate for person first language and why parents say ‘my child with autism’ in order to express the desire that their child not be defined by their autism.

I get why autistic adults and autistic adults who have children want to be listened to, why they strongly dislike organisations that portray them as children (‘infantalization of autism’), and are deeply upset by those who frame autism as a tragedy needing to be conquered, cured or fixed.

I get why parents have a hard time listening to the view point of high functioning autistic adults, when their own ASD children will never speak, read, write or live independently.

I get those who love ABA and those who loathe ABA.

I get those who live by ‘special diets’, and those who see it as a waste of time and money.

I get parent bloggers who write strongly from the point of view of their ASD child.  After all, for the ASD person it is their story, their struggles and their journey.  Mama’s stress is not the headline story-it’s the joys and struggles of their child that are put front and centre. I get that.

I even get the mother who was brave enough to share on her blog about the one time (by her own admission it hadn’t happened before and hasn’t happened since) that she ‘lost it’ and hit her kid.

In the midst of autism discussions, opposing viewpoints and controversy I come back again and again to a quote from autism researcher Dr Andrew Whitehouse: ‘Autism is a messy truth’.  Maybe autism will never be packaged into that tidy box with a pretty bow on top.  Maybe there will never be a one size fits all way of talking/writing/understanding autism. I gotta say though I do love the (very passionate!)  autism community I am a part of, both in real life and on social media.  Even when I disagree.

x Kaz

Kiddo dropping in

Kiddo dropping in

A Round Up of April and May.

The last two months have been a busy and interesting mish-mash of events.

Lego Time: Daddy and Kiddo

Lego Time: Daddy and Kiddo

There has been a lot going on autism-wise.  I completed a very detailed research questionnaire conducted by the Curtin University of Western Australia about the expense involved in raising a child with autism.    I was appreciative that this topic was (and is) being considered in a formal way.  In terms of how much it has cost our family to raise our son in the past few years the short answer is: a lot.   The long answer would have to be a topic for another blog post.  A few weeks later I met with the researchers (three of them) conducting the survey to talk and give feedback about the ‘Expenses’  questionnaire and talk about other research projects they have on the go.  Two in particular were discussed, the first was community mobility and public transport use in adults with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome (contact tania.barnett@student.curtin.edu.au if you or your adult child want to be involved in this study).   The researchers were particularly interested in the role social media might play in helping them ‘make contact’ with adults on the spectrum who might want to contribute to the study.  So they asked questions about my blog, who reads it etc as well as my other ventures into social media such as online support groups.

Expenses Questionnaire

Expenses Questionnaire

The second topic we discussed was the early detection and formal diagnosis of autism.  I was so touched by the keen interest of these  researchers in hearing my ‘journey’ from the early detection signs to the formal diagnosis of autism for my son.  Those first six months of 2009 are etched in my brain forever, and I have analysed events from every possible angle over the past four years.  A few psychologists have shown some interest over the years, but I have never had anyone ask about the tiny details, each and every step, my thought processes and the intense struggle of that year.  To be honest it was incredibly therapeutic to talk about my experiences with people who may be able to turn the ‘story’ of my family and my Kiddo into something that could assist other families.

I have also recently been involved in another research project called the PRISM study by run Dr Andrew Whitehouse and his team at the  Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.  This study consists of pregnant mothers who have a child/ren with autism.  No surprises as to what these researchers might be looking for!  For more info see the website http://www.childhealthresearch.org.au. So far I have had three scans, my hubby and I have completed a number of IQ-type tests,  given blood and saliva samples, and our son has completed two autism assessments (the ADOS and the Mullen).  I believe cord blood will be collected at the birth of my second child (a mere five weeks away now!), and her (yes, its a girl!) development tracked for two years after birth.  I have mixed emotions about being involved in a study like this one. Dare I say an exploration of that topic would have to be in (yet another) blog!

I should add here my second pregnancy has been (in a good way) entirely uneventful.  The back pain is no fun right now.  The frequent bathroom breaks are annoying.  I feel tired a lot.  But other than that-its been ‘drama-free’ and gone by quickly.  To be honest, it feels like a carbon copy of the pregnancy I had with my son.  My hubby and I (supported by his school) have started preparing our son for his new sibling.  This included school making a gorgeous reading book for him.  The baby sister drawing by Kiddo on the front is too cute!

A special book for Kiddo

A special book for Kiddo

I feel an overwhelming sense of delight at the thought of my son meeting and having a baby sister.  Coolest.Thing.Ever! This child will also round out our family to one of four.  Hubby had a vasectomy last week, and the jokes are abounding in this house at the moment.  Also Kiddo thinks two adults groaning (one with back pain and the other groin pain)  every time they get up is cause for hysterical laughter.  His line: ”groan-again mummy, say that “aarggghhh” noise again-daddy-hahahahahahahaha!!!  And just like that, the child bearing years are over.

On a less eventful note I also attended a school funding forum yesterday (yes, with my dodgy back suffering on a most uncomfortable chair) discussing continued funding for children in schools with disabilities.  It was really targeted at school educators and administrators.  The Federal government funding is called More Support for Students with Disabilities or MSSD.  Always gotta have an acronym!  Basically the schools who had received these funds in the last round of funding had to present (justify) the expenditure, and also make a presentation that would hopefully secure more funding for the future.  My son’s school was one presenting.  I was asked to give a parent perspective, but then later I was not needed.  (I will however post my little speech for you to read about my son’s school).  I came away from that forum thinking its not just the parents who have to fight for and justify the funding and support they need for their own children, but the professionals who work in this field also have the same struggles.  Money. Seems to be a theme in disability.

The theme continued at a Federal level with the Budget being introduced this month and it included funding the NDIS, now renamed Disability Care.  The PM then introduced the legislation to Parliament, and did so in tears.  Now the WA State Premier appears to be the last one holding out on signing up to this scheme of universal care and support for eligible people with disabilities.  I will, along with the rest of  those concerned about such things in this State and nation, stay tuned for the WA Premier’s next move.

And that’s about it.  I have a little talk lined up for the end of this month at the disability support organisation Kalparrin- see http://www.kalparrin.org.au.  My son is travelling along nicely, and gets funnier by the week.  Seriously, I need to start writing down some of the hilarious things he says and does to share with the blogosphere sometime soon.  So basically out of this one post I think I have another given myself another four or five to write…  But then again I just might have new topics to write about once June rolls around, bringing with it the great pleasure of meeting my little girl.  Happy days!

In 100 words or less

I was recently asked to write an article for the wonderful organisation ‘Kalparrin’ http://www.kalparrin.org.au/ in Western Australia that supports people with disabilities and their families.  An honour!  The tricky bit was the brief. To write an article in 100 words or less about my journey raising a child with autism.  Seriously ten pages would have been easier than 100 words!

I did write the article…but it was 222 words.  I am sure it will be edited down to fit into the newsletter.  Fortunately I have the luxury of posting it here in its entirety! Next time you have time on your hands try writing about your own child rearing experiences in 100 words or less.  Brownie Points to you if you can do it!

April is Autism Awareness Month

by Kaz Brooks

My son was diagnosed with autism at 18 months of age.  Suddenly all the things parents take for granted in their children no longer came with a guarantee for my child.  I’m talking about language, behaviour, toileting, sleeping, going out, being safe, and having friends.  After the diagnosis and the blur of grief I swung into action and set out to ‘Fix the Problem’.  I thought if I could only get my son to do A, B, C, and D then things would be ‘OK’.  As the months flew by I realised there was no ‘Quick Fix’. Four years have passed now and I approach autism, and what is means to be ‘OK’, very differently.  My son having autism means that he is a passionate, outgoing, funny, and adventurous person, who also has a disability.  Having a disability means he needs support, accommodations made, understanding and acceptance.  It is also important that he is part of an inclusive community, where people have an awareness of autism, and where people with autism are listened to and treated with dignity and respect.   My hope is that this fantastic boy of mine will be afforded every opportunity to fulfil his potential and will grow up to be the very best adult with autism that he can be.  That would be MORE than OK with me!

Kaz Iphone pics Feb 2013 149Thanks to “Mommy Buddy” (on FB) for the pic!

Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be.

I watched the movie ‘Australia’ last month and one line from the movie has been playing over in my mind since I watched it. It was said the first time by Nicole Kidman’s character and then it was said again later in the movie by Hugh Jackman’s character.

The memorable line: ‘Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be.’

In the disability system in Western Australia I have experienced many instances of ‘just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be.’ I have a top 20 list of things I would like to see changed, improved or addressed – it will be coming to you in two instalments. This is the original top ten post and a sequel will be released shortly…!

  1. ACROD WA. Please refer to this picture below re issuing parking permits!photo (9)If there are not enough car bays currently available then the State planners need to make more available. The inability to find ways to cater for the sheer number of families with autism who should have this car bay available to them is no excuse…find a way…please… pretend it’s your child who has had too many close shaves on busy roads and car parks…especially before asking if I have tried ‘education’ to address the running off behaviours my son has (someone at ACROD WA actually said that to me!). Then check out http://www.awaare.org
  2. Medicare. Seriously somebody from this office needs to get in contact with me! The list of problematic areas in this ‘system’ in relation to autism and disability are truly staggering. I often find myself asking if the people who made up these ‘rules’ actually have children, let alone children with a disability. I won’t go into ALL the boring details… here are just a few of them…Do we really need to have the ‘client’ at every consult to claim Medicare?; Do we really need to go see the Paediatrition and/or GP every time we want a referral to a Medicare-rebated allied health service?; Does there really need to be a such a limited cap on the number of allied services available per year or per a lifetime?; Do the gaps need to be so big between the amount Medicare rebates and what allied health providers actually charge?… etc and so on… and while on the topic of ridiculously large gaps…
  3. Private health insurance could re-think a few things also…the gaps are insane for allied health services…and again complicated enough so that everyone stops listening two sentences in to someone (ie-me) trying to point out the flaws! Also if private health could kindly provide some insurance cover for ABA therapy and other evidence based therapies for autism that would be fantastic too!
  4. State funded service providers. I sent the Disability Services Commission (DSC) of WA a letter on this issue 2.5 years ago. My desire is to see a greater range of state funded service providers available both for early intervention and for school aged services. This would give parents greater choice, and help to reduce waiting lists…which, by all accounts, seem to be too long. I would also love to see DSC make life easier for service providers wanting state funded placements by making the application process and times to apply less convoluted and more frequent. With most of the service providers having approval for federal funding (FaHCSIA) maybe common sense could prevail and all approved FaHCSIA providers could be made eligible for state funding also… and thus cut down on the paperwork!
  5. Which brings me to the issues with FaHCSIA funding/and Better Start funding. This funding system needs its ‘crinks’ ironed out rather urgently! The main problem being the age cut off for funding. It just makes me want to cry every time I hear about another family who ‘just missed out’ with the cut-off age, and then hear how long they had to wait to get that diagnosis and how many times they were told ‘let’s just wait and see’. Also the amount of money that is given to every child often does not match the actual needs of that child. Sometimes it does and that’s great! But somebody needs to be reminded again that autism is a spectrum and when it comes to dishing out funds that are supposed to make a difference- it is not a level playing field. For some $6,000 a year for two years changes the child’s life dramatically for the better, for others it is a tiny drop in the ocean. Some families in rural areas often do not have anywhere to spend this funding. Its also a problem having to wait until a new financial year to access the second instalment of funds, which leads to gaps in services and diminished outcomes for the child. Still on the FaHCSIA issue…what in the world is with the two year limit on funding?! Big mistake right there, HUGE. I have never met a family who has a child with autism who no longer needed any intervention after two years-not one.
  6. Expanding the Autism Advisor program to include an Autism Response Team. Professionals who can actually go into the family home and provide intensive (and even after hours) in- home parent training and consultation, plus support for community outings, challenging behaviours and accessing services.
  7. Local Area Co-ordinator’s (LAC’s). They seem to have massive case loads and a huge variation in service delivery for families. I personally LOVE my LAC. However, feedback on the ground seems to be that A LOT of parents have no idea who LAC’s are, what they do, what they can offer and what on earth to ‘ask’ for or about when they do receive a visit. Maybe the role of the LAC could be better promoted and clarified…so everyone can experience a level of satisfaction with their LAC. I think having some idea about autism should be a pre-requisite for this job. Also LAC’s having the ‘power’ to decide who is ‘needy’ enough for their services and who is not seems…well…wrong.
  8. ‘The wait and see’ approach really needs to be revised when it comes to assessing young children with autism. If the child is deemed to be ‘at risk’ then services and/or parent training should begin. What exactly are we waiting for? Autism is not rare, it is common. It is also serious if not addressed and it’s also not harmful for a typical child to receive intervention services. Every research study ever conducted points to better outcomes for early intervention. So don’t say ‘wait and see’, instead say ‘ let’s get to work’ and ‘here’s what you can do to get started’ . What about a system that also says ‘no – you don’t need a definitive diagnosis to access this training and these services, and by the way come back again every 3 to 4 months (as opposed to come back in a year or two) until we can clearly rule out or confirm an ASD.’ Yes- that’s sounds better! A year ‘lost’ could mean the difference between a person with autism talking and never talking…if I was a professional working in the diagnostic field I would want to err on the side of action if it was warranted.
  9. Universities in WA are great! I have degrees from two of the four Universities in this State. My read is that universities could really do more in the area of autism. They could be providing comprehensive training and hands on experience in Autism and a broader range of therapies such as ABA, floor-time, speech therapy, sensory integration, functional behaviour plans, programs and IEPs, counselling and family guidance for not only teachers, but speech therapists, OT’s, psychologists, counsellors, and GP’s. These professions could all benefit from more comprehensive and specific tertiary level training and experience. Also providing free/ low cost services for families with children with disability could be a nice community service these Uni’s could provide and thus give the students some more real life experience under supervision. There seems to be more than a few graduates entering work in the disability field who (in my humble opinion) are under-equipped for the job and need more training and better supervision.
  10. Occasionally some therapy service providers hand out set questionnaires to families. It’s just that for the most part they are not asking the right questions and are often worded in such a way as to prop up a service in a system that has serious flaws… the questionnaires (if issued at all) typically avoid asking questions the service provider really just does not want to hear the answers to. It’s not so much about the questionnaires…what I really would love to see is greater avenues available for real advocacy and for grass roots feedback and change in relation to services and funding in the areas of disability and autism.

When I talk about these issues I might seems like a just another mama ‘ranting’…so combat that vibe with imagining it is Nicole Kidman or Hugh Jackman who was saying all these things to you in a sexy voice … and think how great that would be… and then stay tuned for the release of the sequel!

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