When we first started this journey, we spent hours researching places and things to do to solve ‘autism.’ The world wide web was there, but Facebook was in it’s infancy and information was limited to yahoo groups and email listservs mostly. Parents were active in sharing on these mediums and I learnt a lot. However, the information sharing was limited, and then along came Facebook. Now there are groups secret or otherwise galore to glean information on any possible therapy or intervention you can imagine. But the problem with that is, everyone has a different opinion, and their reasoning can sometimes make sense but sometimes it can be so way off base you wonder how they imagined it in the first place. There is no way of knowing if you are headed down a path to nowhere, there is no way to know before you start a therapy if it will give you any progression at all, some will actually cause regression in your child, but blind faith and a ravaging desire to make your child’s life as “typical” as possible drives you on. Having a child who has no friends, who is lonely, who doesn’t fit, who can’t just go with the flow, who can’t attend regular classes, who gets pulled out of classes for extra help, a child who is constantly tagged by teachers and other parents as “difficult”, a child who at home causes disruption, angst and fatigue at every turn – it is all exhausting and depressing and disheartening, so we do the only thing we can do, we try to fix it. We reach out to doctors, to MDs, to chiropractors, to naturopaths, to counselors, to psychiatrists, to anyone that will feasibly offer a solution, a fix, a “cure.”
Sometimes we stumble upon another parent’s success and we grab it with both hands (along with a pen to write the check), and other times we know we already tried that “amazing” therapy and failed out fantastically, sometimes we just don’t even have the energy or the overdraft left to pick up the phone to enquire. However, what is available (and best of all free) on all of these sites, forums and chat group are the other parents, other parents who understand your dilemma, other parents who have been there or are just getting to where you are, and they are all fighting to get their kids recognized, educated and productive. Use the forums, use the groups, join, make friends, and best of all swop stories, if nothing else that 1 in 6 kids with delays you keep hearing about or the 1 in 50 with autism or any of the other depressing statistics you see bandied around, the gaps are getting smaller and smaller, before too long kids with “challenges” will be the majority not the minority, and it is happening faster than anyone wants to admit. Hang in there parents of the world and unite for change is coming (we hope), really it has too, it must, otherwise the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.