Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mom Wants Son to Have Chance to Be a Kid

This Modified Life is a column by Jo Ashline for and about the families in Orange County, Calif., living with special needs. Jo is a freelance writer and married mother of two. She writes regularly for OC Moms, the Orange County Register's parenting section.

Exactly one week after turning 2 years old, my son Andrew was diagnosed with autism. Within days of the diagnosis, he was properly enrolled in all of the necessary therapies: physical, occupational and speech. We immediately began implementing an intensive behavioral intervention program and our home quickly became our autism headquarters; our kitchen table permanently littered with research materials promising very little, and our hallway cluttered with therapeutic toys and adaptive equipment.
That was 2004.
I haven’t done the actual math, but I can tell you that my son, who’s now 10, has easily spent thousands of hours outside of a regular school day working hard to acquire communication, self help, and social and academic skills that most of us take for granted. I can’t count the number of naps I had to cut short over the years, begging my bleary-eyed little boy to get up so he could practice brushing his teeth and learn the fundamental basics of imaginative play as a therapist looked on and took data.

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