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Today, we are celebrating Thanksgiving “en famille” with the four of us, dear husband, dear children and me. Dear daughter already ate half of the Thanksgiving dessert... So what? With autism we learn not to sweat the small stuff.
Today, we have so many thanks to give to our wonderful autism community that I do not know where to start.
I used to not like Thanksgiving because I had nothing to be thankful for with autism in our lives. I was reeling with bitterness and negativeness especially when I kept hearing all those wonderful success stories from neurotypical children. I would keep asking myself, why me? over and over. Hey, we are all humans.
I remember that particular time when a dear friend was bursting with pride about his gorgeous daughter who graduated from high school with honors and won a scholarship to study for free at a University. I was happy for him but I was also stabbed deeply in my heart. It brought back painful memories. Such as my very first IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting when all the "specialists" looked at me as if I was insane (I am not insane just passionate). Blame it on the French, Spanish and Italian blood flowing in my veins. Instead of talking about immediate goals for my son who could barely speak at that time and was happily spinning in a corner, I was asking about where they had high schools in our State to prepare for international
baccalaureate. They told me that it was not the topic of the meeting and made me understand that I was unrealistic and that I should not harbor such ludicrous ideas.
Deep inside me, I thought, you watch and we will show you... Well we did show them. The day before Thanksgiving Holidays, my son called me from school and said with his sweet little voice “Mommy, I won the Science Fair. I guess I must be awesome. Are you picking me up or I am taking the school bus home?”.
Yes, my son is awesome and if I had listened to all those naysayers, he would not be where he is now and he would not keep progressing despite a few bumps on the road.
I don’t consider him “recovered” and I find this term quite disturbing because there is not such a thing as “recovered”. Recovered from what? According to what? However, I do consider him “significantly improved” and I will take that any day to be thankful forever.
Our children are beautiful, smart and I encourage all of the parents to never, never, NEVER give up. There is light at the end of the tunnel for all of our children.
Why settle for the Boone’s Farm when you can give your child Chateau Rothschild?
Happy Thanksgiving to you and to your loved ones!
My blog is dedicated to bringing our community together, sharing ideas and showcasing the many writers, artists, musicians, doctors, researchers, attorneys, parents, relatives and those with autism themselves that are willing to share their experiences.
Here I will present news of the day, articles by and about the many wonderful people and organizations that are working to help children and parents affected by Autism and comments from readers like you.
Tomorrow kicks off the National Autism Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where I will be launching Wines for Autism with wines donated by our suppliers for the Meet and Greet event in the evening. I hope to see some of you there.
As I am getting ready to load eight cases of wine in my little car I am grateful not to be loading four large suitcases of clothes, supplements, organic food and a double jogging stroller, it brings back very special memories to me from four years ago. Then, I was flying to New Smyrna Beach, SC to attend my very first National Autism Conference. Like many parents of newly diagnosed children I had a lot of questions and a lot of fears about whether I could ever recover my son.
|Dr. Rimland, 1928-2006|
That conference was very symbolic to me as I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Rimland, the founder of the Autism Research Institute for the first and last time before he passed away a year later. As many of you know, Dr. Rimland put an end to calling the mothers of autistic children “refrigerator moms” and making them responsible for their children’s autism before autism became an epidemic (today 1 out of 91 children has an autism diagnosis according to the latest figures from the CDC) with his landmark book “Infantile Autism” in 1964.
Later, he brought to the world’s attention a method with proven results of helping our children called ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) from Dr. Lovaas. He was already my hero for having done all of that but he became my super hero for having developed the DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) protocol with the help of a handful of dedicated doctors and researchers, a lot of them personally affected by autism too.
Thanks to biomedical interventions that have been developed with the DAN! protocol hundreds of thousands of families affected by autism disorders now have hope to recover their children.
I am proud to showcase the websites of the
Autism Research Institute
on the label of our first Featured wine