Everyone has a unique perspective. Whether you’re the type who sees the glass as half empty or half full, the way you define your world depends greatly on how you perceive it. It’s what makes each of us special.
This month, in light of our many differences and perceptions, we are publishing several personal perspectives on autism spectrum disorder. Our contributors are moms, dads, and siblings, all people who are either on the spectrum, or love someone who has been diagnosed.
First, we are thrilled to include 14-year-old Talia Brierly’s fresh perspective as big sister to 13-year-old Max. In her piece, Brothers are Beasts, Talia describes her sisterly role with great honesty as she believes having a sibling on the spectrum has helped her grow and has given her a special view of the world. Even when you can’t understand someone’s story, she explains, you can love them.
Matt Davis provides us with an insightful perspective this month in his piece, Autism and Thinking Differently. Matt openly reveals the unexpected personal changes he has experienced as a father such as a heightened sense of sympathy toward children since his son Isaac was diagnosed. Every child, Matt recognizes, is in need of comfort, comprehension and consideration.
In her piece, Going Solo, Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty describes the great apprehension she felt the first time she took her two lively autistic sons out on her own. Kimberlee reveals not only her fears as a mother, but also the immense feeling of success and hope for future outings once she took that first step.
As we all know, sometimes siblings of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can feel a little left out at times. Pathfinders for Autism’s Shelly McLaughlin, who has a son with autism, has provided us with some helpful parental advice on creating a cohesive and happy household for all in her article, Top 8 Parent Tips for Siblings.
We also have an interview with Lori DeMonia, author of the award-winning children’s book, Leah’s Voice. Lori’s book, which provides a heartwarming perspective on siblings and autism, was inspired by the special relationship between her two daughters, one of whom was diagnosed with autism as a toddler.
On the news front, we have the latest on the Autism CARES Act which was recently passed in the U.S., setting aside $1.3 billion in federal funding for autism over the next five years as well as the new Medicaid guidelines which may affect your family. We also have an article written by Maayan Jaffe called How does the Affordable Care Act Benefit People on the Autism Spectrum? which gives us a look at the impact of coordinated care on the I/DD community and how the Recovery Movement (client-centered services) could benefit people on the autism spectrum.
Here’s to always celebrating our differences as families and a heightened understanding from all people.
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Amy KD Tobik, Editor in Chief
Issue 24 Features
- 10 Internet and Social Media Safety Tips for Autistic Children, Teens, and Adults by Bill Wong, OTD, OTR L
- Brothers are Beasts by Talia Brierly
- Creating a Cohesive Household – Top 8 Parent Tips for Siblings by Shelly McLaughlin
- Biological Markers of Autism at a Young Age by Richard Clarke, MSc
- Changes Made to Policy to Affect Thousands of Children with ASD by Amy KD Tobik
- Going Solo by Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty
- Autism and Thinking Differently by Matt Davis
- How does the Affordable Care Act Benefit People on the Autism Spectrum? by Maayan Jaffe
- Leahs Voice – a Celebration of Inclusion and Acceptance by Amy KD Tobik
- Help Make a Change in the Workplace
- Simple and Healthy Breakfast by Autism Food Club