If you don’t already know, April is the official month to learn more about Autism. If you already know a lot, your job is to share! I can tell you that I’m already learning more through my friends and I wanted to take a moment to share, too.

This is the face of Autism in our family.
This is what “Autism” looks like.

 

Our journey with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome has been bumpy, but not hideous. We’ve met some amazing new people along the way (think teachers, doctors, therapists and of course friends.) Ethan has made wonderful gains and continues to do so on a weekly basis.

To what do I contribute these gains?

1) Love and Understanding: Ethan knows that he is loved and appreciated, even on his “bad” days, here and at school. When a child spends 40 hours a week with other people, it is comforting to know that he is respected and adored by his two primary teachers. (We love you Tresi & Sarah!) Plus, Ethan is a true love bug! We are constantly exchanging hugs, kisses and heart-felt I Love Yous. I personally can’t imagine loving one human more than I love Ethan.

2) Biomedical: Jenny McCarthy an Evan have brought new understanding to society in general about this important component of Ethan’s well-being and I am grateful. It just makes sense to me to look a child’s well-being from EVERY standpoint possible. Why would I treat Ethan’s behaviors alone without making sure that his body is absorbing the nutrients it needs and processing toxins appropriately? It is simple–I wouldn’t. Thanks to Dr. Seshagiri Rao, local Warrior Moms I’ve met along the way, and some amazing doctors/authors who have researched and pioneered the way for other biomedical families like us, we are on a good path with Ethan to maintain a healthy yeast balance in his system, to detoxify the nasty heavy metals plaguing his system, to keep his neurotransmitters at healthy levels and to be vigilant of all of his vitamin and nutrient levels. What a healthy kid we’re raising!

3) Gifted and Caring Therapists: We are quite blessed to have had two Occupational Therapists (OT) who really “get” Ethan and have helped him make tremendous gains with Sensory Processing and Self-Regulation. (Thanks Terra & Rashi!) Ethan also makes new progress each and every week he spends hours with friends and the wonderful Social Thinking Therapists  at Help, Hope, Solutions. Katie and Stephanie were meant to be with these kids and I am always amazed at the progress I see with Ethan in social situations.

4) Martial Arts: Thanks to a former Social Therapist’s (Tammy) recommendation for Ethan to start Tae Kwon Do, we’ve been “at it” since last June. Ethan has grown in leaps and bounds in regard to his mental focus, respect for peers and adults, eye contact, listening to directions and following through, balance and completing detailed sequences of punching and kicking alongside his peers. While it may have taken him longer than the average Joe, Ethan earned his Yellow Belt in March and is eager to test for his Green Belt already! I am thankful to Master Ahn for his dedication to all of his students, but especially kids like Ethan.

Ethan with his Yellow Belt and Belt Test Certificate
Ethan with his Yellow Belt and Belt Test Certificate

 

Autism is complex and the research is continually changing. For this reason, I am thankful that I love to read and feel passionate about doing whatever it takes to care for Ethan. Above all else, I want Ethan to be happy; not just as an adult, but NOW, too. As such I work to balance all that we do for Ethan while monitoring his state of mind. He IS happy and that’s why we continue to do all that we do, even though we have depleted our savings to keep him in private therapies, on special diets and on a multitude of necessary supplements. HE IS WORTH IT!

Please know that while I am 100% Ethan-focused and busy working two part-time jobs to help pay for Ethan-related expenses, I also love to answer questions and help those who come along my path. This blog alone has brought me a few new Autism friends and I welcome others. If you’re an old friend, or a stranger who found me thanks to Google, please let me know if you have any questions and I’d love it if you’ll simply leave a comment about Ethan, Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome this April.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to become more Autism-Aware this month!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: April 3, 2009, 10:24 am | 3 Comments »