Friday, 4 July 2014

I'm Into Autism but Not Everyone Is!


This was evident in this report by  The Star with the comments Councillor Doug Ford made towards a parent and his autistic son. 

I love working with children, teens and adults who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as an ASD. Parents of children, teens and adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder absolutely love their kids. If your child had an ASD you would love them too wouldn't you? It's your child, wouldn't you want what is best for your child and wouldn't you as their parent, move mountains to see that your child would get the best schooling, the best care, etc. Wouldn't you fight just as hard or even harder for your kid that had special needs because they would not be able to do for themselves? 

My journey into Autism

A few years ago, I answered an ad in the newspaper asking for applications to work with a boy who had an ASD. Training would be provided. With my background in Special Education and teaching, experience with Developmentally Delayed I thought, why not apply. 

I was called in for an interview in the boy's home to meet with his therapist and his mom. The job offer went to someone else however, the therapist asked if I would be interested in working with a preschooler who lived closer to me. I said I was interested and a meeting was set up with his parents and I was hired to work with their son.

So my introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder began.....but actually, it really started years ago when I was a teen choosing a topic for my speech. I decided to talk about Autism so really, it began then but I put it aside for many years until just a few years ago.

Not only did I work in one family's home but soon I was working in with three families with two teens, and a twenty-something year old. What I learned in working with each of these individuals is that when it comes to ASD no two individuals are the same. That\s basically why it is referred to as a  Spectrum Disorder. The teens with whom I worked were very capable of talking but had other academic weaknesses. The preschooler and the twenty-something, had very little speech but, over time their vocabulary was increasing.

Then I, with my years of teaching, decided to apply to be an Educational Assistant, because I was not able to get on the Supply Teaching list and I wanted to work with exceptional children. As I worked in different classrooms and in Autism classrooms I realized that I wanted to learn more about ASD so I was accepted into the Autism and Behavioural Science graduate program offered at the local college. The course is ideal because I can work during the day and study my online, part-time course in the evening and on the weekend.