Mara Fritts is the mother of four, she is diagnosed AS, and she sits on the AWN Board of Directors.
I started Homeschooling when our oldest son was 7 years old, after fighting a school system that would not listen to my pleas that there was something different about him. I saw it. Why didn't they? Why did they say that our son was normal when his teacher said there was something different with him? I saw him as being alone and not understanding why he was having issues at school. Why didn't all the children throw gravel at other students when they were frustrated ?
When our son was 5 years old, he started Kindergarten in a private school. They said that he was too immature, so they put him into the preschool. Our psychologist at the time said our son has Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and that he needed additional observations. We were told the public school would also do testing on him, so we sent him.
From the beginning, we had issues with getting the school to observe our son. They were supposed to look at him at the beginning of the school year. After several months of not hearing anything and many phone calls, they finally had the Occupational Therapist (OT) and the school psychologist look at him. They said that everything was normal. His homeroom teacher, who was a former resource teacher, disagreed with this. She helped us place him in a behavioral program from the local university. It was the only help she could offer. It was based on rewards, but he wasn't really interested in earning anything. Over that summer, our son went to a private OT to help with the hand weakness and balance issues that his pediatrician diagnosed him with. The balance issues were something else that the school missed.
Second Annual Autism Acceptance Event Making a Difference!
Paula C. Durbin Westby is leading the way into a month which many autistic advocates dread. Why?
Written by Sharon daVanport
Most awareness campaigns have little to do with supports to benefit autistic adults, and it's become increasingly difficult for many self advocates to breathe through April's superficial autism frills. Is there anything to look forward to in the month of April?
Within the autism community, April has always been known for it's one buzz word, "awareness." Not anymore. Now you will see a new kind of confirmation which helps many in our community not feel the dread of the empty campaigns that hold little value toward helping autistics and their families. What is it? One word. ACCEPTANCE. On April 2nd, and continuing throughout the month of April, autistic advocates and their allies will be spending their time making a new kind of difference by communicating about acceptance, not tolerance and pro-neurodiversity.