10 reasons why having an Autistic kid is awesome

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1. You get to discover how complex and amazing  language is, especially if your child was delayed in talking.  If they are still non verbal, you will find many other useful ways to communicate such as PECS, and makaton.  You will become an expert in the subject.

2 Your kids teachers never forget your kid’s name. You get to know them and they pay special attention to your little cracker. Parents evenings often last 40 minutes rather than 5, so you never get those awkward silences.
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3. Chances are your kid is more honest than others.  If you want to know what is going on, you will get a straight answer no story telling, lies or secrets behind your back

4.  Autistic kids very often aren’t influenced by other people’s trends, so chances are they won’t nag you about getting the latest expensive clothing or shoes

5.  Autistic kids very often have very specific interests.  This can make birthdays and Christmas so much cheaper, as they probably won’t want the latest overpriced piece of plastic
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6.  Autistic kids can have very unique  imagination.  Very much this is due to not being influenced by others.  Their insights about life  can be fascinating.

7.  Autistic kids are often just as happy, if not happier in your company than with other kids.  This gives you an amazing connection that isn’t always present with non Autistic kids who thrive to play with other children.

8. Ability to focus on specialist interests can result in expert knowledge in many subjects and specialist talents

9.  Having an Autistic kid can bring you into a world you have never considered. A whole new community of friends and support

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10.  Finally, they teach you that with patience and understanding so much can be achieved, that life can lead into a completely different avenue that you  expected, but can be equally as enjoyable, and a great adventure

Autistic children don’t need to be that terrible burden that the media portrays them as.  With patience, love and energy, their potential is unlimited.  Let’s change the conversation about Autism and give our kids the self confidence to thrive .

Autism Parenting – Matrix Style

Receiving an Autism diagnosis for your child can be a difficult time. You have so many fights ahead with services, schooling etc, but having a positive attitude can make such a difference.

Coping mechanism seem to vary quite a lot from what I have witnessed on social media.  In my experience parents very often go down 2 different avenues. Do you take the red pill or the blue pill?
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Blue  pill
You will meet a lot of other parents of Autistic kids.  You will share tales of hardship.  You will make lots of friends.  You will learn a few things about how to help your kid, but mostly the bond will grow with all the problems Autism can bring.  There will be glimpses of happiness when your child or your friends child will reach a developmental stage.   You will learn that Autistic adults sometimes get defensive if you vent about your child’s problems.  Infact, you may even believe they shouldn’t really be in Autism support groups as they are nothing like your child.  Meltdowns, sensory issues, problems your child may present may be hard to understand.  You may compare your child to other children, which may always be  upsetting. You may spend a lot of time desperately wishing for a cure.   The problem with taking the blue pill you may mistakenly get drawn into a cycle of depression, and relating to other parents in the same predicament can make things even tougher.  Very often in these groups the more depressing your posts the more likes and comments you will get.
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Red pill
This is a harder pill to swallow, it may isolate you more from other autism parents.  However, for the help and support you receive, it will be amazingly positive.  Unlike swallowing the blue pill, you will develop very valuable friendships with Autistic adults and like minded parents.  They will teach you that those developmental charts don’t mean much.  That you can see all the amazing differences your child brings without having to compare to other children their age.  They will assist tremendously with meltdowns and sensory issues. Why?  Because they have been there.  Some Autistic adults will be defensive if you are negative about your child.  You will learn that this is understandable.  The negative focus on autism brings back difficult memories, and you will learn that they are only defensive as they worry for your child.  You will learn that showing them respect back, can produce great friendships and the advice they can give you will be invaluable.  Your child may still have a disability, but many traits, language differences, behaviour can be seen as a neurological difference, which needs respected rather than seen as a tragedy.
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To help you decide, I am going to put up 2 scenarios:

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Drama at the play park

Blue pill –  my son cries and screams around other kids. He’s 6 and I still have to put him on the baby swing.  He only tolerates for a few minutes and then screams wanting off.  It’s so hard.
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Red pill –  we avoid play grounds at busy times.  When we do go, he loves lying under the swing and seeing it swing from side to side.  Yes, we get some funny looks, but he loves it.  If other kids start coming along, he always decides to leave, and that’s understandable.

Blue pill – I  am so sad for my child.  My other kids have been on play dates, even sleep ovesr.  No one knocks at the door for him.  After school he just goes in his room and plays with his toys, it breaks my heart.  He’s not happy if I try and force him out.  He must be miserable
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Red pill – yes sometimes it is sad to see my son struggles with friendships.  He needs his down time though after school and needs the space to just be by himself for a while.  He feels safe and secure in his daily routine. Social interaction with him at school can be quite exhausting, so we have learned to give him the space he needs after.

Blue pill can equal grieving, comparing, fighting and possible depression

Red pill can equal learning a new concept, opening your mind and discovering a new adventure

Please, be brave, make the decision to swallow the red pill.

So next time you are on social media, connect with some Autistic Adults, you will get great help and develop brilliant friendships. Autism doesn’t need to be about grieving, sadness or depression.

No one ever says having an Autistic child is an easy task, but with the right mindset, fighting for schooling, services and therapies can be easier with a positive attitude. The red pill, in my opinion is the best way to achieve this

Letter to Amanda Mary

Hello Amanda, my name is Heather and I am writing to you to plea for your understanding.

Now I won’t begin to agree with your business in Gcmaf. As a cancer survivor for over 20 years (and, yes with chemotherapy), I have seen the progress made in cancer medication, the incredible progress made in cancer survival rates. 80% of all children with cancer now survive, even with leukaemia, this is amazing. When I was ill, survival rate of leukaemia in kids was only 20%. As far as I am aware the only cure for leukaemia is chemotherapy, so I certainly don’t agree with your 3% survival rate claim. Anyway, I am not writing to you to discuss this. Without spreading your misconceptions, you wouldn’t have a business.

Anyway, I am writing to you to basically talk about Autism. Cancer and Autism are completely different conditions. Cancer is a cell mutation which spreads, killing healthy cells. Autism is a neurological difference. My son is Autistic and he is perfectly healthy. I never worry about his health. Vaccinations are proved to not cause Autism. My son’s Autism is genetic, as there are definately undiagnosed older relatives in my family

I know you have found a new area to flog your gcmaf, so I am not going to attempt to educate you otherwise.

The most worrying issue I have though, is your change of opinion regarding your friend Kerri Rivera. I witnessed your fall out, and read about your dismissal from the genesis church 2 due to disagreeing with her recommending daily enemas of MMS. This must have been quite a brave decision. But, now due to your similar fight with Fiona Oleary I see, you are both reunited in friendship. To the extent that you are even recommending her protocol. This worries me greatly and I would like to cast your mind back to why you fell out with Rivera in the first place.

Enclosed in this email, I have put screenshots from Rivera’s CD Autism Facebook group. I want you to read these carefully, and think about what is happening here. Would you give daily enemas to your own children? Mother to mother, please be honest. Have you touched your child’s back passage since they have grown out of wiping their backsides? It’s certainly something I think oversteps boundaries between a mother and her child.

I don’t believe in MMS, I never have, and I never will, but even if Rivera’s protocol magically worked, what damage would be left? Physically, a ruptured anal passage, an anal prolapse? Mentally, Amanda where do we start? So now the child is ‘healed’ of Autism. What do they remember from their childhood? Their mum giving them constant enemas, maybe their dad too, maybe Gran? The social boundaries have been destroyed, their personal body vindicated. It’s tantamount to child abuse? I think we can say that. Would memories have them confused about what boundaries they should respect with the siblings, future sexual partners, their own children? This is wrong and you know it. You would never do this to your child, and neither would I.

I am asking you please, to stop promoting Rivera, Germany and Ireland both now call her protocol child abuse. So does Barnardo’s and the NSPCC. In supporting Rivera, you are supporting child abuse. I don’t think you want to be seen as doing that, as I hear about how much you love children.

I will not hide the fact that I am friends with Fiona Oleary. We are both on this website
autistic abuse awareness/ I have the upmost respect for Fiona, who is has an enormous heart, and has only, ever done this to try and protect Autistic children. Autistic people don’t lack empathy. This is a myth. My son has the biggest heart imaginable. With the introduction of many communication aids, Facebook, twitter and many other sources, Autistic children are growing into Autistic adults, many who do hold jobs, have families, are successful in life, infact I am sure you have met a few without knowing. They are the driving force in telling us what helps, and most of them express that they don’t need a cure. What they need to acceptance.

See Autism isn’t like cancer. Without treatment a cancer patient will die, without treatment an Autistic person will not die. Autistic kids can, and many do thrive. The “recovered” Rivera speaks of aren’t “cured”. If they do exist, they have found coping strategies, have been repressed, or perhaps at present don’t show enough traits to warrant a diagnosis. Are they still Autistic? Of course they are, and you know what? That’s OK. The world needs all kinds of people. This isn’t a big pharma conspiracy. Many autistics never need medication.

I know your opinions probably won’t change about Autism. I can’t talk you out of the products you are selling, and I can’t convince you to see the good side in someone you feel is a threat to your business, but I can ask you to please discontinue your support for Rivera. Her protocol is wrong, and abusive, you have known this from before and you can do it again. I saw Kerri showed you support at the airport etc, but you will know this was purely for business reasons as her focus is to downplay MMS now and focus on
GCMAF.

I am posting this letter on our website and will also post your reply

Thanks for reading

Heather Beattie

An Open Letter to People Magazine

Aspie Catholic

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Image Description: A boy is kneeling and has blue masking tape and wears a necklace with the autism neurodiversity symbol on it. Next to him is Suzanne Wright, the head of Autism Speaks. She has an unkind expression and is saying “They’re voiceless, the poor things.” Credit is Idrawhumans.

To Whom it May Concern,
First of all, I never read your magazine. Celebrity gossip doesn’t interest me. However, when I saw one of your articles for your July 1, 2015 issue, I had to respond.
Autism Speaks is “Crusading” Against autism? How dare you? Do you realize what you are implying? A crusade is a holy war. You are implying that autism is akin to cancer. Like Suzanne Wright, the head of Autism Speaks–who you interviewed, you are saying that autistic people like myself are better off dead. Do you seriously believe that a person who is diagnosed with autism…

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The ATEC Scale and why it isn’t a reliable source

The ATEC SCALE AND WHY IT IS NOT A RELIABLE SOURCE

The creator of the ATEC – Autism Treatment Evaluation Scale – was a man named Bernard Rimland. His own son was autistic and he very much believed autism was due to vaccine damage. DR Bernard Rimland Therefore, the model for this scale is very much a medical model of disease, rather than an acceptance of autism being a neurological difference. The ATEC scale is used as the primary scale used by the biomed industry. The scale fits right into the pseudoscience perspective of Autism.

Depending on age, language ability, anxiety levels, external factors autistic traits can change throughout lifetime. Increase in language ability often lessens obsessive behavior in young children.

Therefore, the model for this scale is very much a medical model of disease, rather than an aceptance of autism being a neurological difference. The ATEC scale is used as the primary scale used by the biomed industry. The scale fits right into the pseudoscience perspective of Autism.

Why it is not accurate:

To allow a parent to measure their child’s “autism levels” can be seen as irresponsible. A parent being with the child on a daily basis may see huge changes in development from small differences. The desire to see the change can easily influence the scoring. Many of these bio med interventions require dedication and a willing for it to work. Even sticking to a diet, such as the gfcf diet will require overcoming moaning, complaining, family arguments and also the expense of buying dairy and gluten free food. Of course you will see positive changes. From a yoyo dieters perspective, the first week you see a difference, the second you are removing your shoes to get weighed, to the 5th week its the removal of jewellery in a desperate attempt to see those numbers going down, the fact you have eaten 3 cakes that week and not really been on a diet, to see that one digit less seems to be your whole world. You dream of fitting into that dress. For a “believer” of the ATEC scale, you long to see your child playing with another child, or suddenly speaking in sentences. Your brain tells you what you want to hear. Your ability to give accurate results of your child’s progress becomes unreliable and tainted. The results are often very subjective.

However, Biomeds is a huge business, so we can’t always simply put any gains down to parental perspective. Parents following biomed interventions with their children, may realistically see lower scores on the ATEC scale. This can happen if the child does have food intolerances, or nutritional deficiencies, if diet changes or extra vitamins are advised. However, progress needs to be praised on improving general health and wellbeing, and optimising performance, rather than repressing autistic traits, or searching for “cures”.

What the professionals do:

Regular visits to paediatricians, speech therapists and other professionals can monitor progress of your child, highlighting any extra areas of therapy needed on an individual basis. Every child has unique strengths and weaknesses. They can give unbiased, evidence based support, along with any testing giving scientific and objective results.

So why is this scale wrong? Why is a biomedical chart not accurate for Autism?

Here is an example of some of the questions, and an explanation of why the answers have little or no relevance to the progress of your child

Screenshot 1 – For Autistic people Stimming and rocking can be an essential form of stress relief. It is healthy and often can be a sign of happiness to non verbal children. It is important not to repress or see this as bad behaviour or a problem.

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Screenshot 2 – Eye contact, again something lodged in the minds of social expectations. Something which is often forced in incorrect therapies, and can be painful for a person on the spectrum. Again, this has no influence on the potential of the child’s abilities.

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Screenshot 3 – Imagination, again, very much down to perception. Many people on the spectrum show amazing talents in Art and Literature, and who is to determine what is correct and what isn’t? Many people with autism thrive on more fact based interests. This has created the most amazingly talented people, focused in their field, this isn’t a deficit.
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Screenshot 4 – A simple quiz to determine speech and language ability is not only naive, but very disrespectful to all speech and language therapists who studied long and hard to become therapists. Both expressive and receptive language skills are very complex and unique to every child, and need proper analysis to help children with any issues they may exhibit.
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Monitoring progress of a child, needs professional guidance. Progress of a child must take account the child’s neurological differences, and not be compared to neurotypical expectations. Repressing Autistic traits can lead to added anxiety, depression and mental illness in later life. Learning about your child’s communication and sensory differences, is a very handy tool in helping your child to reach their potential.

Although there is major speculation of online tests of Autism, a more accurate one may be found here: http://www.aspergerstestsite.com/75/autism-spectrum-quotient-aq-test/#.VJNhuHuMZyj to perhaps, get a rough idea of whether you or your child is on the spectrum, but it is not a diagnostic tool. Please seek professional help if needed.

Here is a good skeptical view of Biomed treatments as a whole: http://skepticalsurfer.blogspot.ie/2007/09/cult-of-autism.html?m=1

And finally, please study this brilliant article written by an Autism Expert, which, is, of course, an Autistic Adult : http://neurocosmopolitanism.com/what-is-autism/