Issue 17 – Autism Awareness and Acceptance!
I did something that I rarely ever do this month; I watched TV. One night my husband and I decided to not work and sat down on the TV in hopes to find something to watch. He settled on Dancing with the Stars so I sat and watched in revelry missing the days that I used to dance. One woman caught my eye with her beautiful smile and angelic face, as she waited for her turn to dance to Derek. I had never seen her before but she was one of the “stars.” Later they showed a commercial of a woman winning the Paralympics and as I took a closer look I realized it was the angelic woman that had caught my attention earlier. Then the show went on to show her meeting her dancing coach Derek and showing him that she has two prosthetic legs and feet from bacterial meningitis. When she, Amy Purdy, danced everyone held their breath. When she was done dancing, eyes were filled with tears, hearts soared with happiness and everyone was in awe of this woman’s courage and dedication to not let anything stop her. She astounded but even more than that was my shock at how people are able to sympathize with her because they can see her struggle. I sat their wondering what if people could sympathize or hold their breath long enough to wonder what a struggle it is for autistic persons when they are met with something like small talk or a job interview? Just imagine if people were kind enough and thoughtful enough or maybe I should say were aware enough to consider the difficultness of verbal and social skills that come easy to most Neuro-typicals? Or perhaps what if people could visibly see sensory struggles? I am not saying people should wait to the day when they can see it to show respect of it. What I am saying is that ALL people, should be respected, accepted and loved. We all have different abilities, different struggles, different strengths, different weakness- my hope is one day we stop measuring abilities against each other and embrace our uniqueness and help each other with our struggles.
This month is known as being about Autism Awareness month and I think we in the autism community hope that it not only raises awareness but acceptance of autism. The articles chosen for this month were chosen by how much awareness and acceptance they could create. M.Kelter joins us again and helps us understand the importance of small talk as well understanding the complexities of it for people on the spectrum. A certified BCBA and mother of a child with autism raises the important issue of why cognitive tests should not be taken too seriously when ways of communicating aren’t taken into consideration when testing is done. Dawn Marie raises the obvious but often not considered idea of how we need to stop expecting everyone to communicate verbally when every day we finds way to communicate in other ways (like email, texting, signing, etc.). In addition to all of these great articles that I hope bring people a new awareness of acceptance, we have an amazing interview with Bushy Van Eck of South Africa that will astound you with the knowledge he has, despite not having a formal education. We could not print the entire interview but please listen to the podcast to hear more of his story and learn about his scientific theories. Plus, we were able to get an exclusive article done by Maayan Jaffe whom had the opportunity to travel to Israel to learn about the latest science pertaining to diagnosing autism. Check out these and all our other great articles including a must read book before your next PPT meeting and great sensory advice from sensory expert Lauren Bruckner. Plus I am pleased to announce that if you know of anyone that is considering whether or not to get their child an autism evaluation, tell them that my latest book Early Signs of Autism in Infants, Toddlers and Babies will be free as a Kindle version from April 12-15 to help parents get on the right path with the resources they need and how to speak to a pediatrician about your concerns. I kept it short in an effort to encourage people to find the time to read the book in its entirety.
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Leslie A. Burby
Issue 17 features:
- Awareness of Small Talk by M. Kelter
- IQ and Identity in Children with ASD by Angelina BCBA
- Interview with Prisoners of Our Minds Bushy Van Eck
- Is Verbal Communication Really Ideal by Dawn Marie
- Autism in the News: Carnosine supplements by Megan Kelly
- Pushing the Envelope on Making Life Decisions by Bill Wong
- Book Review: When the School Says No How to Get the Yes by Vaughn K. Lauer
- Product Review: Raise Your Rainbow
- New Biological, Neurological Tools Promise More Accurate and Earlier Diagnosis of Autism by Maayan Jaffe
- Q and A Section: Lets get hairy
- Why Obstacle Courses Are Amazing For Kids and How You Can Make Your Own Version by Lauren Bruckner
- Everyone Deserves to Be Healthy by Lori Alexander and Colleen Hordichuk