Posted by: tinyeye | April 8, 2009

Autism: Some Unanswered Questions

Speech Therapy Telepractice

Hello Everyone, One of the many blessings of working with a virtual team is that we build relationships with talented and passionate people all over the world.  Every now and then, a guest blogger will share a blog with you on our site. It is just another way we broaden our circle of care – connecting people with people.Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Mindy Hudon, a new member of the TinyEYE Team.   -Marnee

Since interviewing Jenny McCarthy (http://www.celebrityparents.com/movie/jenny-mccarthy-6115/) last summer, I have been drawn to hearing whatever she has to say on the topic of autism. Jenny is a mother warrior whose son Evan was diagnosed with autism. Jenny became her son’s advocate and desperately searched to find the answers to help cure her son of autism. I have read all of her books about her journey, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism, Mother Warriors, and I just started reading her newest book co-authored by Jerry Kartzinel, M.D., Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide. I enjoy getting email newsletters from Generation Rescue (www.generationrescue.org) a non-profit organization that researches the causes and treatments of autism and mentors parents who are trying to recover their children from autism. I am interested in what Jenny has to say because I have so many unanswered questions about autism. I want to learn more about how we can help prevent autism?

As a speech and language pathologist, I have worked with many children on the autistic spectrum. I have been trained in all different therapeutic interventions to help these children communicate with the world. I agonize watching these children scream and cry out hoping that someone will understand them. I have realized that these techniques work with some children, but not all so, I continue to search for different techniques. I know there is no “one-size fits all” approach to the treatment of autism. I want to learn more about unlocking these children from their silence?

I am amazed at the number of children diagnosed with autism. The numbers are staggering. Through the years, I have witnessed the faces on parents when they first hear the word autism. I see them struggle to try and understand what went wrong. My heart aches to see them break down in tears describing how their entire family is turned upside down by the behaviors exhibited by a small child. I hear school colleagues try and reassure them that they will do the best that the can to meet the needs of their child. I want to learn more about how I can help these parents?

Jenny could have quietly helped her son defeat his challenge, but instead she has used her celebrity status and has taken huge professional risks to help other mother’s whose children have been the victims of autism. I admire her dedication to educate the public to ask questions and not accept everything that is presented to them as fact. What if we can help defeat autism by changing our diets and life-styles just like we have learned through the years to help prevent heart disease, cancers, and stroke? I want to understand why the topic of trying to prevent autism is so controversial?

I am not a parent of a child with autism. I am a professional who works with these children daily. I want answers too!

If a school district in your area needs Speech-Language Pathologists, please let me know by email as we at TinyEYE can help!

mindy

Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Tiny Eye Territory Manager

http://www.TinyEYE.com-Online Speech Therapy Telepractice

School Districts: Recruiting Speech-Language Pathologists? Job Boards not working? Click this link!

Mindy Hudon is a practicing speech and language pathologist and the mother of fraternal twin boys. She has been a Speech and Language Expert Advisor for iParenting. com Media/Walt Disney Internet Group for the past 10 years. Mindy has been published in numerous newsstand magazines including Twins Magazine, Women’s Health & Fitness, Family Energy and Baby Years, as well as on various websites.


Responses

  1. Hello!

    The topic is a controversial one because not all autistic people want to be “cured!” They feel that autism is not a disease, but that some people are simply autistic, and that you cannot separate the autism from the person without destroying the person. And they feel that if autism could be screened for, then it would mean genocide for people who think and feel the way they do, like how 90% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted today.

    It may be surprising to think of autistic people (including autistic adults) as having strong feelings about a subject, and being able to communicate with others about them. But autistic people with Internet access take to it like a fish to water, and tend to communicate much more readily via text than they do by words and / or body language. I should know, as my girlfriend and I are both on the autistic spectrum … and guess where we met?

    Of course, we only communicate if we feel that someone is listening … and all too often, in “real life,” we don’t feel like that’s the case. We’re told to make eye contact, to stop being “weird,” to stop wincing when people grab our arms and pat us on the back. We go through our whole lives reminded of how different we are from everyone else around us, and when we try to voice our concerns and ask to be treated the way that we’d like to be treated people talk over and interrupt us, or else simply don’t get it.

    When people try to “help” us, it’s rarely if ever by getting to know us on our own terms. It’s usually by trying to get us to adapt to the world around us, and to ignore the pain and frustration we feel. And they say that they love us and they’re proud of us, but we don’t get that feeling; we feel like they love the person they want us to be, and they want to cure us of being ourselves and make us into a different person.

    They spend all their energy trying to coax us out of our shells, not realizing that we are not baby chicks being nudged tenderly out of an egg … we’re turtles, and our shells are there for a reason. And the people around us act like children poking a turtle with sticks, trying to make us do something interesting, something that they can have fun with, when all they really need to do is just let us be ourselves.

    But they don’t. Sometimes they do things that would be considered abuse, if done to a normal child. Like ABA, and restraints, and putting us into institutions where everything we do is seen as a sign of how flawed we are. And then we wail in frustration, and go catatonic, and even injure ourselves. But somehow it’s our fault for doing so … even though there are millions of teenage girls who self-mutilate and starve themselves.

    When people see them suffering, they ask themselves where society went wrong. Why is it that when they see us suffering they think that something is wrong with us?

    What if the autism “epidemic” is coming about because our world is now more hostile to autistic people than it once was, and our pain is becoming more obvious to you? What if “environmental triggers” are just things that hurt autistic people, and that don’t hurt anyone else? What if there are going to be autistic people whether you like it or not — unless they’re killed off in the womb — and the only way to prevent their suffering is to prevent their suffering?

    Maybe what is needed is finding out how our world is harmful to autistic people, who are a lot more sensitive than everyone else, and finding ways of mitigating that damage.

    I hope that this helped you a little bit. ^.^;


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