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Monday, 20 September 2010

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Marissa

I wish more people in our area were like this. We're new in our journey as a family of a child on the spectrum. It's frustrating at times that no one understands our son.

Amy

Autism is often very misunderstood! It really is a shame as well because Autistic children are amazing. They have so much in them and people over look it. I was watching this freat video this morning that really opens your eyes up and takes you into the world of families that have autistic members. It isnt easy but this video really does open your eyes to a world that not many understand. http://www.risingchild.com/video/video/129-Autism+Every+Day+7+minute+version?groupid=4

Cathy

I can totally relate to this. I have b/g twins who are both autistic. They are 9 now. We joined our church when they were 2. At 3, they were going to PPCD (preschool for special need children) and I felt that our church was the one place they were viewed as "normal". Around pre-k age, a woman approached me and asked me if I wanted a Special Angel volunteer to help my kids while they were in Sunday school. I wasn't sure what that was so she explained it was a person to shadow and they are there to help kids with special needs. I told her sure, that would be great. Once I left the church, I burst into tears because like I said..that was the place they were normal and now they are classified as having autism there too. But my husband told me to be grateful for the fact that there is a group like that at our church. I tried to view it that way too and was more open about it. After they got their shadow, I noticed they got more out of Sunday school. They still have the same shadows..Stephanie and Crisann. They really don't need them anymore now that they are in 4th grade. They just go and kind of stand behind the scenes in case they are needed. Two years ago, I joined the special angels group and now I shadow a little boy who is in 1st grade who has autism. And honestly, I don't think he needs me, he's very high functioning. But for now, he likes me to be with him. I give him a lot of attention, tickle him, help if he gets overwhelmed by going for walks. It's my way of giving back to the group who have helped my kids all these years. Word gets around that our church provides this and we have many kids with special needs now..not just autism..kids in wheelchairs, kids with emotional issues, kids with Downs Syndrome, etc. Three times a year the group has Awesome Saturdays where parents of special needs kids can drop their kids off at noon (at the church) and they stay until 4:30. It's to give the parents a much needed break. And the kids LOVE it! So, I totally get what you are saying but try to think of it as your church cares enough to want to do the best thing for your boys. And when you have your meeting with the Childrens Staff, mention putting together a group of volunteers who will help kids with special needs so the parents can go to church in peace and not have to worry. Several other churches around here are adopting this idea and using it in their church as well. Your boys are perfect and I too, don't see my kids quirks so much anymore. I'm like "don't all kids do that?". My son is probably one of the most popular kids in his school. They are both mainstreamed, my son gets pulled out for special ed but he is the most social autistic kid anyone has ever seen. One of his "autism gifts" is his memory and he remembers names and faces. So, he says hi to everyone by name (in all grades..not just 4th) and kids like that. Everyone wants to be remembered and my son can do that. The teachers call him the "rock star" of the school because everyone loves him. Now my daughter is more reserved and shy but does better at school work. She's not even pulled out at all. But, she kind of keeps to herself and has a few friends. If I had to say I loved something about autism, it would have to be they don't judge people. They like people no matter what. I can't imagine either of my kids making fun of anyone or teasing anyone for being fat, thin, tall, short, etc. Autistic people accept others for the way they are. If only the whole world were like that.

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