My prayers and most sincere thoughts are with you Glen.
Last year I wrote a paper on the statistics of Autism in the US. The national statistics show that one child out of every 166 will be diagnosed with autism in the US. The possibility of that number being higher is a fact, since many types of autism are considered beyond the definition of autism known today.
I got a letter from Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin in response to my email today. Here's what it says:
I am writing today to let you know that I have included language in my 2007-2009 budget that will require group insurance plans to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder services. I have submitted my budget to the Legislature, and I hope you will join me in urging your representatives to keep this provision in the budget.
During the last four years, many have shared stories with me about the effect of autism on their families and on the families of others, and we have worked hard to improve the state's role in providing the services that are vital to the fight against autism. Requiring health insurers to provide coverage for these services is another positive step in that direction. My budget seeks to make health care coverage affordable and accessible to everyone in Wisconsin, but we should also work with the private sector to promote health care access and coverage for all. To that end, my budget increases requirements for health insurers in the group market to provide coverage of services related to autism spectrum disorders.
The goal of this proposal is not to have insurance replace the waiver program. It is to allow for more funding for children who are on the wait list, or who are not eligible for the waiver program but would benefit from services provided by insurance. If you have questions about how individual cases might be affected, you should contact Beth Wroblewski in the Department of Health and Family Services at (608 ) 266-7469.
Please contact me again anytime I can be of help. Best wishes.
A step in the right direction, I guess. Did anyone else get this letter?
Although I'm not very familiar with the people here on this board, since i'm not the best artist and just an 18-year-old pupil from germany, I felt like it would be a kind thing to send the emails to the given adresses. I hope i did everything right...
Ive read a book about an autistic boy so i can somehow understand what burden he must carry..
Wishing you and your family the best, philipp...
The latest issue of Discover magazine talks about recent developments in Autism research. Some new discoveries are leading scientists to view it as not just a brain ailment, but a problem with the body as a whole. It seems those doctors who think diet may play a role in some people may be right.
Specifically, Autistics often have problems with their digestive tract, gas distension, irritability, etc, and show signs of chronic low-level brain inflammation in some cases. The same things are found in some food allergies.
There also appears to be problems with gene expression and methylation, some autistics given supplements that play a role in methylation, such as B12, showed improvement.
And some appeared to respond to anti-fungal treatments ( gut biota problem? ).
So it may be worthwhile to pick this issue up, and see if any of it can be applied. At the very least, it will give you some avenues to pursue.
hi, im only 15 but i have had alot of experience with autism, i have worked in support groups and helped out at hospitals and i know people with autistic children, one thing you must keep in mind is exactly what you have said in your first post, there is still you son there he feels and understands all the love and affection you show him. obviously my heart goes out to you and you family and i realy realy hope your son can live as fufilling a life as possible,
and the effort and thought you have put into that picture means he definitly has a mum he can be proud of. best of luck in the future.(im not sure if your a woman or man therefore mother or father, your avatar suggest female but either way the above statment stands)
Last edited by life on the sofa; March 13th, 2007 at 05:03 PM.
I don't know if you remember me, but I was in your Illustration Class that you taught at St. Clair. My name was Jennifer Boufford but 2 years ago I married Will Hawsworth...also a student of yours. Anyways...I have an 8 year old brother with Autisim. He was diagnosed when he was 2 1/2. He was put on a very long waiting list for IBI (Intensive Behaviour Therapy).
It took a very long time to get him the therapy that he needed. My parents...especially my mother did the exact thing that you are doing now. She reached out to the community to bring awarness to this situation and continues to do so today. Her efforts are finally paying off. Jordan (my brother) is finally going to get the extra therapy that he needs.
In Canada when a child turns 6 they no longer qualify for this therapy. Many children will never receive this therapy because of the long waiting lists.
My mom would be a great person to get in contact with...she has been advocating for all children with Autisim for some time now. Her name is Cindy Boufford (email@example.com)
Your artwork is so moving, and haunting. I see my brother in your painting.Glen if there is anything I can do to help please let me know.
it's really nice to see people cares,,, make me feel lil guilt for almost jump to another page without a courtesy of sending an email,,, bad-ed me,, but good me as i just did...... best wish to you and your love
I used to work as a head teacher at a program for developmentally disabled kids and teens. It was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.
There was this kid "Barry" who was in my classroom. He was in his late teens, and looked like a fully grown Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) with coke-bottle glasses. He'd come in the classroom everyday happy as a pig in poop. Barry brightened everyone's day. He also had AFD (alchohol fetal syndrome) and wasn't mentally developed past the age of 5. He was high functioning, meaning that he could feed, clean, and dress himself... awkardly... He was always eager to help around the classroom, putting up chairs, putting away dishes, and other minor tasks my assistants seemed to fail to do themselves. "Barry" had also had a charming OCD for MC Hammer (yes... the Too Legit To Quit guy), plumbing (sinks, drainks, pipes, etc...) and curtains. He liked old school rap & hip hop (Sugar Hill Gang, MC Hammer, Fresh Prince) and would do the silliest dances that made you want to join him.
Despite having AFD and being mentally disabled, "Barry" was always the most popular guy in the room. Everyone loved him, and he liked everyone he met. He is probably the most charasmatic person I've met and had some of the most unusual, but spectacular people skills. I think I'll remember him for the rest of my life.
There's a book out called "Stuck in Neutral," which takes place in the point-of-view of an austistic child. It's a good read.
Not sure anyone has said this yet, but just 2 days ago, i recently saw a new episode of "True Life" on MTV (yeah, its MTV, but True Life deals unique individuals) anyway, this new episode followed 3 autistic teens through their daily lives, and let me tell you, it was truly inspiring. In fact, i learned that 10% of all autistic people become artistic savants, and are able to unlock parts of their creative brain that no one else can, allowing them to incredible things. Anyway, if there is any possible way you could download that episode, I really reccomend watching it.
Prayers to your son and family...and to you friend. I don't know what its like to have that kind of problem or even seeing your child go through it, I know there must be a lot of pain... I'm sorry I didn't see this thread sooner, but I'm here now and will try to assist with this. Continue being strong and god bless you, your family and your little boy. Your artwork is a great addition, good luck and best wishes!
Thank you so much to the Conceptart community that has kept this going.
My son is becoming a bit of a legend in the community here. Most in part to amazing people who have written in and passed this on to their friends. I want to especially thank Mike Corriero for putting this thread up here and on his network page, and Jeff Miracola who made an awesome animated link to this on his website.
It's so hard to thank each individual for writing in with such amazing kindness without sounding repetitive. I can say you do have my sincere and deepest gratitude. There is a finality to such a diagnosis- in how it affects your entire families life, and that is really sinking in as of late and hitting us real hard. It's comforting to come here and read over the responses that people have written.
To answer some specific questions:
foundmyfrisbee: Yes we watch everything and anything to do with autism these days and we didn't miss that one. I know there has been amazing advancements in therapy for children- but it is stories like that boy in high school that has to use that speech machine to try and make friends that truly breaks my heart. The kids in his class were extremely nice, but I can't help but think how badly that poor boy must want to fit in, be really in their circle of friendship, and probably dream of someday finding a girlfriend. It's crushing to think of the awareness he must have of his situation. I hope he can find happiness in life.
CaptainInsano: Thank you for this touching story. If you would ever meet my son- you will know that he is a kindread soul and I hope will inspire others someday as your Barry did you.
JenHawk: Of course I remember you!!!! Congtaulations on the marriage, tell Will I said Hi and that he is a lucky man- you two make an excellent couple and I wish you all the best. I would love for you to pm me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All through the course I never knew you had an autistic brother. Right now my daughter is having a real difficult time dealing with the attention he is getting, as well as trying to understand what is exactly going on (she's 3 years old). It would be great to catch up. If you can - could you please pass this onto some of your old classmates.
Hope to talk soon.
Crusoe the Painter and blankslatejoe: Read the magazine- very interesting- He does seem to have gastro-intestinal problems ever since he was a baby. Almost like a acid reflux. We are doing more research into that experimental therapy. Did you know they used it on sailors from WW2 because of all the lead that was in the ship paint they were exposed to. Wierd eh?
Will write more later.
Thank you again everyone for writing in, as well as the pm's too.
My heart goes out to you in all of this. My younger brother has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, so I feel for your daughter -- it is frustrating and confusing to have everyone pay so much attention to the little guy. (Strangely enough, like Teddy, my brother also struggles with an acid-reflux kind of condition, btw)... Plus, my family and I share your uncertainty of the future. My brother is 18, nearing the end of his "senior" year in Special Ed., and nobody knows what's next.
Sry, didn't mean to ramble on.. just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.. and you're in our thoughts and prayers.
I work every day with autistic children at an intensive residential treatment center. Your child is blessed with a huge factor on his side: Parents who care. The fact that you care and are saying something and looking into his best options is going to make the difference.
Resources I suggest looking at are listening to an interview on http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com
by Ron Davis first the one on dyslexia, then the one on autism.
He was born autistic, nonverbal to age 12, then learned to speak with speech therapy, was a math sauvant, became an engineer, and retired a millionaire at age 34, I think. He learned to correct his dyslexia through the arts, then learned to read after that age.
As I look at the puzzling behavior and talents of the autistic children I work with, I'm drawn to learning more about it. Ron predicts 100% of the population will be autistic in 4 generations at the pace it is growing. The most interesting articles I read are those written by autistic individuals on how they perceive the world and how they have compensated for their "learning differences". No one knows autism like an autistic person!
My nephew who is autistic and age 6 has made incredible advances in the past 2 years, not having been able to receive adequate services (insurance won't cover it)- his social and academic growth has been aided by parents willingness to look into the research, the learning methods, diet, growing patience, and love.
autismcoach.com has a lot of excellent resources too.
While I work at a residential treatment center that specifically accepts autistic children (with mentally retarded children too), my view is that we don't know enough yet. They are treated mainly with behavior analysis programs, good learning games, PECS, etc... but I think a lot of the perceptual differences and erratic behavior is left to "that's autism" where there is more we can still learn and do.
I wish you the best in this special mission in life.
Hello. I'm not an artist by any means, just a fan of this forum and many of the artists on it, but I have autism (Asperger's Syndrome) and I'd like to say there is most definitely hope out there for your son. Good luck.
I am also one of those diagnosed with Autism (albeit Aspergers syndrome), and while I cannot rightly speak of how parenting one with my diagnosis - I can give you a few words of encouragement.
1. Things have changed - a lot
When my parents first tried to have me diagnosed some 16 years ago (I was about 6 then, I am 22 now), some psychologist still held on to the belief that my condition was caused by a "cold mother" (which is quite funny because in the end it was her who went through the most of the system for me). Your son was diagnosed when he was 2, in a world that knows more about autism, and has long since accepted it as a category in its own right.
2. You learn as you live
I have improved a lot in intervening years. Both my motor and my social skills have become better, and I have learned to accept, and to live with, the fact that I will never live the same kind of life that most other people will - I have found happiness in the things that I can, and the life I can live.
I am currently studying Computer Science, and not doing a too shabby job at it - taking life one day at a time.