Where are YOU on the Spectrum?

Recently there has been a lot of negative conversation in the online world about autism and blogging. Some people have very strong opinions about everything from medications to vaccinations, and diets. It is easy to criticize and tell people what to do; it is even harder to figure out what to do. I have decided that parents also have an autism spectrum. Some are devoted to behavioral therapies and treatments; others turn to natural medicine and detox, while others get mired down in guilt and helplessness. We are all at different point of development in our own lives, with our children, and on our journey to help our autistic children.

I am a middle of the road type of person. I have participated in behavioral therapy and seen its successes and weaknesses. I am a Health and Nutrition Coach and have definite opinions and viewpoints on the role that diet and nutrition play in our lives. I also have many viewpoints on medications, alternative therapies and the myriad of options that are out there for our kids. I am willing to try anything to help my son, but also know the limits of time and money when looking for answers.

Either way, we are all looking to help our children, and the focus should be on supporting and lifting each other rather than criticizing the path that a different family has taken. Each child presents with different symptoms, needs and concurrent diagnoses. We cannot judge where we have not been, but it is easier to be critical of others choices than it is to face the day-to-day reality of what autism truly means for us as an individual, as a family and as a community.

What is really disturbing, is that despite the different therapies and options available, despite the multiple studies and changes in treatment and even government policies, autism is on the rise. More and more children are affected by this disability, and no one really knows why or how to completely address the issue.

Many parents find their hopes and dreams altered or crushed when they receive this diagnosis for their child. Most have too much information to sort through, too much to try, and too little resources to do it all. I am going to ask for tolerance within the special needs community. We want that for our kids, but we need to demonstrate that ourselves in our dealings with our own attempts to cope with this life, and our dealings with others.

Photo: mimitalks, married, under grace/Flickr