Friday, April 21, 2017

How Hollywood Got Autism Awareness Month All Wrong…

I am so grateful for every person who used their platform to bring awareness to autism. Awareness was the first step to improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by autism. I fought for awareness and now it's time for a new verb.

This is not a dis on anyone or anything, it’s just I've been living with this same message for 17 years. And, as I was thinking what to say for Autism Awareness month?  What needs to be said? What would make a difference? I just kept coming up blank, then it hit me “It’s not about awareness anymore”.  We are aware now!  We have made progress and it’s time to get a new slogan and new mission that changes the lives of all the people our society is now “Aware” of.   And I hope Hollywood will get on board and embrace a new campaign.Let's face it, now we need to be about action, next steps. Maybe we begin with a new slogan; Autism Inclusion Month,  or Autism Action Month, or Autism Support Month.



I’ve been on this journey for 17 years now, much of which is documented in this blog.  If you are one of the people who have read this blog through the years you know it begins with my testimony to the California Senate Blue Ribbon Commission when I shared how having a young child with autism was a nightmare families could not wake from.  Getting an early diagnosis was almost impossible as most pediatricians did not know the signs, and if you could not afford the $3,500 private developmental pediatricians wanted for assessments you were probably flat out of luck.  Then if you were fortunate enough to be told your child does have autism “A permanent lifelong disability for which there is no known cause of cure” they just sent you home to sort things out.  Unlike any other major illness or disability where families are embraced by the system and provided with protocols of care and resource’s families living with autism were abandoned by the system.  With no skills or tools families were just sent home to care their child – who typically required 24/7 support, cope with their grief and do the full-time job of trying to navigate complicated systems of care to find hope!    A devastating reality resulting in a 86% divorce rate for families, isolation, depression and financial ruin because the needs of an autistic child were so intensive parents could not work and care for their child.

This was the unimaginable fate of so many families due to lack of awareness.  But as awareness improved and 1 in every 64 children had a diagnosis of autism, things changed and today most people know about autism.  The result physicians have been trained, therapies are available, states have funds for early diagnosis and intervention.  A great accomplishment!  And now it’s time to move on.

Today most funds for autism are earmarked for early intervention, doing little for those individuals with autism who are now in middle school, high school, and aging out of the system.  We have done little to improve our social settings to include families and individuals with autism. Today as I think about Nick’s upcoming birthday, yep he’s an April kiddo born in Autism Awareness Month!  I am not optimistic about his future, in fact, I’m the opposite.  I am scared for my son and his sister who will inherit the burden of care.  And this is how I feel as the parent of a kiddo who has made incredible strides in his independence as a result of early intervention.

17 years into this diagnosis we live in the social isolation today, as we did when he was diagnosed. This year like all the other years, he has not be invited to any typical child’s birthday party and his birthday party will be attended by adults and perhaps a few others on the spectrum.   We still go into the community and people pretend not to see us, or they look at Nick in fear when he makes noises and jumps suddenly.  But today my most crushing reality is once Nick ages out of the school system – unlike his typical school peers who will go on to jobs, vocational programs, colleges or universities – there are few viable options.  The image of “Wall walkers” comes to mind. Special needs individuals being driven around town in white vans making mindless trips to the mall, the 99 cent store, maybe Target.  Or for a treat a trip to McDonald's where they are all seated away from the other customers who are uncomfortable or a theme park where they connected by matching shirts or string that attach them like cut out dolls, dressed in clothes that make them look unloved and allowed to wear toddler hats.  That’s what families have to look forward to after years of “Awareness” 

So, yes awareness have improved. Early intervention is funded. Kids are being diagnosed and families are being lead to believe the future will be better.  I’m here to say, that is perhaps the cruelest part of this whole journey; to work so hard for years expecting “better” to find that while your child was growing up, and you were doing all you knew to do, the system was not keeping up with you and one day you would end up right back where you started, alone with a young adult who still needs 24/7 care and nowhere to go.  

That’s reality, and in some ways, it’s a more crushing blow than the first, because back then in the there was still hope.  And as a society, we were still more forgiving of an adorable autistic toddler, no matter how inappropriate his behavior, than of an autistic adult.  
That’s why it’s time to move on and work on directly impacting the lives of families living with autism, beyond ages 1-5.  It’s time for “Autism Inclusion Month” and just like awareness it begins in our communities, it begins with us, simple kindness something like this.
Let’s start an inclusion revolution. 

Here are a few ideas.

When you see an individual with autism – Say hi, even if they don’t say hi back.
Invite families you know who are living with autism to your parties, to your homes for dinner.
Help parents who are caring for an individual with autism; drop off a meal, a Starbucks, a bottle of wine.

Invite a mom who is caring for her child with autism over for a cup of tea,  volunteer to run an errand or any gesture of kindness you would give to any neighbor or friend in need.

Then for those of us who are the ones living with autism, we need Autism Action Month. A month where as a community we come together to push the bar forward.  A month where we unite in large numbers, make our voices heard, and advocate now for system change including programs and funding that will support our children after Highschool and insure there are supports in place for the inevitable when we are no longer here to care for them.

16 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. As a sign of gratitude for how my son was saved from autism, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My son suffered autism in the year 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he always have difficulty with communication, , and he always complain of poor eye contact . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to autism . I never imagined autism has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my son will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my son used it and in one months time he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life.autism has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098765@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my story

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  3. Such great news about your son! Thank you for sharing :)

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  4. all thanks to Dr Williams with his herb my son is now also free from autism,for more information you can email him on drwilliams098765@gmail.com

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  5. WOW ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS I HAVE NEVER BELIEVE IN HERBAL REMEDIES.
    my son have been a patient of autism . I had tried a lot of anti viral med prescribed to me by doctors over how many years now but I could not see any improvements in my son symptoms. One day while going through the internet , i got to know about this great Herbal Dr who uses his herbal remedies in curing people from autism,quickly i contacted him and he prepared a herbal medication for my son which i received and he used it as instructed by dr williams. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. the speech delay and the poor eye contact stopped, I would recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from autism.you can contact him through his email on drwilliams098765@gmail.com.for advice and for his product THANKS TO YOU ONCE AGAIN DR WILLIAMS

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. HOW I WAS CURED TOTALLY FROM AUTISM
    I had my first attack of (AUTISM) when I was 20, I wasn't diagnosed until seven years later when I was totally experiencing speech delay. It was so terrifying that I began dropping things and losing sensitivity to sounds, having severe fatigue and muscle weakness. A horrible poor eyes contact began. I sometimes can't walk straight and fall onto walls and I get leaning disability, the English medications i used proved abortive. i was so frustrated that i had to contact My neurologist,he told me about a new RRMS (relapsing-remitting MS) drug which was only in its trial stage, CAMPATH. I started the chemo-type treatment and some prescribed drugs like: RISPERDAL, EFFEXOR XR, GEODON and MEMANTINE. which resulted in 1st seizure of my life, thereby adding more salt to my injury. As a result to proffer solution to my problems, i started going online in search for a cure, i came across a testimony of a woman who got her cure through HERBAL MEDICATION, at first, i doubted because of the misconception that autism can not be cured. But i later contacted the Doctor through the email provided, and I used his Herbal product, after 1 month of use, I noticed tremendous improvement in my health, 5 months after, I can proudly say, I've been totally cured by Dr.williams Herbal Medication from AUTISM..., If you have the same health issue, you may contact him for a total change of story, Via:autismepilepsy.blogspot.com . I believe your predicament will be a thing of the past just like mine.

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  8. As a sign of gratitude for how my son was saved from autism, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My son suffered autism in the year 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he always have difficulty with communication, , and he always complain of poor eye contact . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to autism . I never imagined autism has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my son will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my son used it and in one months time he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life.autism has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my story

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  9. Thanks for sharing. I wanted to share another great article written by ASAT Online, discussing autism awareness and what it should be about:
    https://www.asatonline.org/for-parents/parents-share-their-stories/what-autism-awareness-should-be-about/

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  10. Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Dr Williams for everything he have done in my life. I have been in tears for so many years now, having found that my only son is suffering from autism, lesion after some years of being under extreme stress., . I spent 24 hours freaking out and finally calmed down after reading some testimony on here about Dr Williams herbal medicine to autism. The moment came and I mumbled out to my husband about Dr Williams product (with a few tears) and he was AMAZE – . He was just worried about our son been free from this disorder that was how will order for Dr Williams product on line , after my son finish taking Dr Williams medicine for just within a period of one month. Will went to the doc together who confirmed that he was autism free.
    Thank you again for being upfront, truthful and taking this pain away from my family for more information about his product you can email him on drwilliams098675@gmail.com i hope you can also help other terrified people in a similar situation.

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  11. Thanks to Dr Williams I am so happy today, my son have been suffering from autism for the past 8 years now, and i have spent a lot on western drugs which has all proved abortive, i have tried all means in life to get my son out of this , but there was no answer until i decided to try herbal solution and i found Dr Williams online and i contacted him and after he took his medication as instructed, my son is now completely cure from autism within those week of usage, i am so much happy, thanks to Dr Williams for helping me get my son life back again without any form of crisis, i promise to tell your name and good deeds to the whole world,if you have a son with autism you can email him on drwilliams098675@gmail.com for more information .

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  12. SPECIAL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE AUTISM CURED HE
    RENDER TO MY SON.
    I'm giving a testimony about Dr. WILLIAMS for the great deed he have done for my family, he has
    the natural cure to autism, he cured my son from autism ,
    though I went through different website I saw a testimonies about this
    Dr Williams, I was like: 'Dr Williams have the autism cure why are
    people still suffering from it?' I thought of it, then I contact Dr Williams, I didn't believe him that much, I just wanted to give him a try, he replied my mail and Needed some Information about my son, then I sent them to him, he prepared the (CURE) and sent it to me through Courier Service he gave my details to the Courier Office, they told me that 1-3 days I will receive the package and my son took the medicine as prescribed by Dr Williams and i took my son for check-up 1 week after finishing the medicine, then the autism was not there anymore, if you are suffering from autism you can also contact him on his via email address: drwilliams098675@gmail.com for his help.

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  13. I am bold enough among many others to state that there is now a potent cure to this sickness but many are unaware of it. I discovered that I was infected with the virus 3 months ago, after a medical check-up. My doctor told me and I was shocked, confused and felt like my world has crumbled. I was dying slowly due to the announcement of my medical practitioner but he assured me that I could leave a normal life if I took my medications (as there was no medically known cure to Herpes). I went from churches to churches but soon found that my case needed urgent attention as I was growing lean due to fear of dying anytime soon. In a bid to look for a lasting solution to my predicament, I sought for solutions from the herbal world. I went online and searched for every powerful trado-medical practitioner that I could severe, cos I heard that the African Herbs had a cure to the Herpes syndrome. It was after a little time searching the web that I came across one Dr Itua(A powerful African Herbal Doctor), who offered to help me at a monetary fee. I had to comply as this was my final bus-stop to receiving a perfect healing. My last resolve was to take my life by myself, should this plan fail. At last it worked out well. He gave me some steps to follow and I meticulously carried out all his instructions. Last month, to be precise, I went back to the hospital to conduct another test and to my amazement, the results showed that negative,Dr Itua Can As Well Cure The Following Desease…Cancer,Hiv,Herpes, Hepatitis B,Liver Inflammatory,Diabetis,Fribroid, Dercum,fibromyalgia,Get Your Ex Back,Als,SYPHILLIS,Genetic disease, Parkinson's disease.Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.You can free yourself of this Herpes virus by consulting this great African Herbal Doctor via this e-mail: drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com or call and whatsapp him on +2348149277967 He will help you and his herb medication is sure. he has the cure on all disease .You can talk to me on INSTAGRAM..tashamoore219....

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  14. My life is beautiful thanks to you, Mein Helfer. Lord Jesus in my life as a candle light in the darkness. You showed me the meaning of faith with your words. I know that even when I cried all day thinking about how to recover, you were not sleeping, you were dear to me. I contacted the herbal center Dr Itua, who lived in West Africa. A friend of mine here in Hamburg is also from Africa. She told me about African herbs but I was nervous. I am very afraid when it comes to Africa because I heard many terrible things about them because of my Christianity. god for direction, take a bold step and get in touch with him in the email and then move to WhatsApp, he asked me if I can come for treatment or I want a delivery, I told him I wanted to know him I buy ticket in 2 ways to Africa To meet Dr. Itua, I went there and I was speechless from the people I saw there. Patent, sick people. Itua is a god sent to the world, I told my pastor about what I am doing, Pastor Bill Scheer. We have a real battle beautifully with Spirit and Flesh. Adoration that same night. He prayed for me and asked me to lead. I spent 2 weeks and 2 days in Africa at Dr Itua Herbal Home. After the treatment, he asked me to meet his nurse for the HIV test when I did it. It was negative, I asked my friend to take me to another nearby hospital when I arrived, it was negative. I was overwhite with the result, but happy inside of me. We went with Dr. Itua, I thank him but I explain that I do not have enough to show him my appreciation, that he understands my situation, but I promise that he will testify about his good work. Thank God for my dear friend, Emma, I know I could be reading this now, I want to thank you. And many thanks to Dr. Itua Herbal Center. He gave me his calendar that I put on my wall in my house. Dr. Itua can also cure the following diseases ... Cancer, HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Inflammatory Liver, Diabetis, Fribroid,Parkinson's disease,Inflammatory bowel disease ,Fibromyalgia, recover your ex. You can contact him by email or whatsapp, @ .. drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com, phone number .. + 2348149277967 .. He is a good doctor, talk to him kindly. I'm sure he will also listen to you.

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  16. Hiv disease for the last 3 years and had pain hard to eat and cough are nightmares,especially the first year At this stage, the immune system is severely weakened, and the risk of contracting opportunistic infections is much greater. However, not everyone with HIV will go on to develop AIDS. The earlier you receive treatment, the better your outcome will be.I started taking ARV to avoid early death but I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.As a Hiv patent we are advise to be taking antiretroviral treatments to reduce our chance of transmitting the virus to others , few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information on Hiv treatment with herbal medicine, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from Hiv her name was Achima Abelard and other Herpes Virus patent Tasha Moore also giving testimony about this same man,Called Dr Itua Herbal Center.I was moved by the testimony and i contacted him by his Email.drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com We chatted and he send me a bottle of herbal medicine I drank it as he instructed me to.After drinking it he ask me to go for a test that how i ended my suffering life of Hiv patent,I'm cured and free of Arv Pills.I'm forever grateful to him Drituaherbalcenter.Here his contact Number +2348149277967...He assure me he can cure the following disease..Hiv,Cancer,Herpes Virus,Epilepsy, fibromyalgia ,ALS,Hepatitis,Copd,Parkinson disease.Genetic disease,Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva,Factor V Leiden Mutation ,Fatal Familial Insomnia ,Dupuytren's disease,Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva,Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome,Inflammatory bowel disease ,Huntington's disease ,Diabetes,Fibroid...

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