It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
I appreciate that your employer offered a professional learning opportunity that allowed you to spend some time learning about autism spectrum disorders. I am grateful that you took your learning seriously and you are interesting in learning more.
I only wish to caution you this: The study of autism spectrum disorders is massive and ongoing. Current and progressive pedagogy is easily permeated by unfounded generalizations that sweep though the autism learning community and can cause serious repercussions for the families living with autism. Widely accepted myths about autism are spread through networks of professionals and paraprofessionals working in the field. This is dangerous and I would encourage you to be sure that your information/program is legitimate, peer and parent-reviewed and has the best interest of the individual in its design.
This is not an easy task, I know. If you have chosen to work with individuals on the autism spectrum you have the responsibility to understand autism in its many forms and you must understand the basics, at least, of genuine and justifiable treatment options.
I do not posit that living with a child on the spectrum or living with autism makes someone an expert on autism. I do maintain, however, that the parent is the expert on their child and their child's version of autism.
Learning about autism is a ceaseless endeavor. You will not conquer this topic. I, for one, would love to see you try. I try.
And while I try, I read and I read and I read the most relevant literature I can find. I spend hours speaking with other members of the autism community. I listen to the opinions of doctors and therapists and the people that love these children and I hold all of this information in my brain until it becomes too much and it spills out onto this blog, for better or for worse.
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)