Some inspiring quotes from day one of the conference on "Educating and Healing our Children with Autism":
"There are no answers...only choices."
"It always sounds so tidy when I talk about it. Believe me--it's NOT tidy."
-Eustacia Cutler, Temple Grandin's mother. For more info on Temple Grandin, go to the Temple Grandin NPR interview.
Talking about ABA to Kristina Dumas, who works with kids on the spectrum. Kristina said she learned who ABA worked for and who it didn't in her year ABA internship...
"Some of those kids don't need those toys. They don't need the M&M's. They need YOU." Everyone is different. "You need a unique approach."
Christina Peck who spoke about codes to use when filing insurance claims said there was even a code for sibling rivalry... "The other day when you called me and your kids sounded like they were killing each other--I have a code for that."
Speaking on the writer's panel, Kim Stagliano, who writes for Age of Autism, quoted Mother Teresa: "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much."
The highlight of the writers panel was not the gifted writers who spoke. It was actually Lisa, a woman in the audience, who has Aspergers. Lisa spoke passionately and honestly about how much better she feels after embarking on a journey to heal herself using biomedical treatments. "I was tortured and now I am better" she shared with the audience, who applauded her determination to find her own unique path to wellness, after years of not getting better going to mainstream doctors and even being an inpatient for five years in a well regarded hospital.
In temple last week, the president of our congregation spoke and said: "There are those journeys we choose to make and those we are forced to take." The journeys we are forced to take change us forever. Sometimes we end up in unexpected places. Fulfilled, as Eustacia Cutler described her daughter. Or better, as Lisa now finds herself. Or in a conference surrounded by friends I adore, eating Muddy Buddies, listening to the most extraordinary stories of people whose lives have been "Blessed with Autism."
*"Blessed with Autism" is the title of Christina Peck's amazing speech and workbook on creative ways she has found to get reimbursed by insurance companies for medical treatment and services.