Monday, 25 February 2013

Autistics Should: How do I learn what autism is, anyway?

I have been on this road for about two years now. Oh, I felt there was something going on with the Monkey long before that, but the process really started moving along when he turned three, with little or no language, no interaction with other kids, odd play, unusual reactions. The process of referral, assessment, diagnosis, referral for funding, applications, and so on and so forth is ongoing, but the bulk of it was completed more than a year ago now.
So I have made an effort to learn what I need to effectively parent this boy. I love him more than I thought I could love anyone, and I want everything for him. I have talked to and read blogs and books by other parents of autistic and special needs kids. I have talked to and read experts in the fields of education, medicine, psychology and therapies. I have talked to and read the blogs and books of autistics of all ages, from the 3-5 year olds in the Monkey's classes and soccer team to a five year old novelist (yep, five and writing books, though as yet unpublished), to teenaged bloggers and students, to adults who have been through the system or have been left undiagnosed until adulthood.
I have been educated, confused, enlightened, appalled, insulted, ashamed, disturbed and frustrated with the materials that are out there. Blogs and web based information have been both my best sources and some of the most uneven and terrifying stuff I have read. There is a "flash blog" going on right now because someone checking the search engine on Google found that the auto-fill for most searches for autistics came up like this: