As many of you know, I have recently published a book “Ten Commandments Of Interacting With Kids On The Autism Spectrum”. This book is the completion of a dream born long ago. This book is written with the passion of a mom with a son who has Aspergers syndrome. It is also written from my alter persona as an education and human services professional who has spent many years in the classroom, group homes, and society attempting to advocate and assist special needs kids and adults through awareness, education, and integration into society.
My son was diagnosed with A.D.D. in second grade. I noticed more issues then professionals agreed were present. His gifted rote memory assisted him in memorizing multiplication facts, spelling words, etc. However, he had great difficulty with word problems, summarizing paragraphs, etc..
I saw these issues as a red flag for processing issues; others merely accused him of being smart but lazy. He also had great difficulty interacting with his peers, would not use direct eye contact, had melt downs due to stressors. (I was told the meltdowns were nothing more than a boy exhibiting “spoiled behavior” due to his mother reinforcing said behavior.) He was bullied due to inappropriate behavioral issues. I was told “he asked for. YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT!
I was told “if he would stop acting inappropriately that the bullying would subside” The long-term outcome of our struggles was a boy with an unidentified learning disability who struggled from long term self esteem issues due to being labeled nothing more than lazy for many years. There were other challenges resultant from his late diagnosis but I will refrain from mentioning them through a public venue.
A decade ago, when my son was a child, the term Aspergers was not a household word. Supports, social groups and therapeutic assistance were sparse as apposed to now. I would not give up on my son and refused to listen to the naysayers say that he merely had lazyitis. I could wallow in anger regarding educators, other parents and society at large regarding their lack of understanding and support for my queries regarding other challenges being at the brunt of my son’s challenges.
I chose to react reflectively. These individuals were not as educated in Aspergers as in the present. Even people who had good intentions did not have access to many training and education materials back then. So, rather than look back, I chose to look forward. Anger at society and playing the blame game will merely fester within my soul like a wound on a lepers body. Positive,proactive, planning breeds positive results. I will place a link at the bottom of this article so you can read about our journey if you choose to do so.
I decided that our challenges could become a gift. Challenges can be harnessed into great lessons that can become a teaching tool for others. Being the introspective soul that I made a vow to myself. That vow was that I would do my part to make sure no parent has to walk in the dark. I want parents who now walk the path that we trodded on a decade ago to realize they do not walk alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I went back to college receiving my B.A. in psychology in 2005, and my Masters degree in education in December 2009 with a driving force akin to a tsunami pushing me to achieve my ultimate goal. To help special needs families with a strong affinity towards kids on the autism spectrum. I recently published Ten Commandments with a dream to not only educate, but give back to society. 10percent of my profits from my book will be split into to distinct arenas. I am going to help my local autism community with various donations from 5 percent of profits from my book. i.e. adopting a local low income special needs family during the holidays, etc. Another 5 percent of profit will be donated to local homeless shelter projects. i.e. school supplies, socks, toys, etc. This will be a year round project not temporary. In my view, needy individuals need assistance all year round. Their needs do not dissipate when the XMAS tree is put away. We are blessed. My family has a roof over their head, food on the table, and our health. What more could one ask for you may wonder?? Well, to put it in a nutshell, we must do our part to make sure others are blessed with those basic needs. What will you do for your part? Thanks for reading this and stay well.
Please check out the link to my book and our journey with aspergers on this page if you wish to do so.
Asperger’s Syndrome A Parent’s Journey w Her Son, From Childhood To Young Adulthood http://wp.me/p2PTZP-4z
Mari Nosal : Please stop by my site at Amazon Books and check out my published books on autism aspergers special needs and more http://tinyurl.com/kdspqy9
Mari Nosal M.Ed., CECE