How I will Be Giving Back to the Community


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.

Author@amazon.com … Aspergers Mom , blogger, Aspergers spec. ,M.Ed.,CECE, 30 years experience in human services & edu. ..Massachusetts · amazon.com/dp/1492229946

Asperger’s Syndrome A Parent’s Journey w Her Son, From Childhood To Young Adulthood

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

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7 thoughts on “How I will Be Giving Back to the Community”

  1. My son is 27 and is smart, sweet, honest, kind and severely Autistic. He is also non-verbal so we as caregivers need to interpret his responses as his communication of likes and dislikes. This is tricky because he is sweet so when he smiles and points to flowers he is saying, “Please get them out of my sight! I am afraid of flowers and cannot tolerate them in my visual field.” Do you see what I mean? As his sensory integration disorder is what most impacts his daily living, having Alex disrespected for his medical condition was the norm for Foster Care and Group homes. He is now in his own apartment and most importantly in his own SENSORY environment. Alex is the ‘Boss’ of his sensory environment not the victim of others environments. For this reason I am starting a non-profit to buy land, build a model of living that accommodates the specific needs of ASD and is sustainable living at a cost that would appeal to service providers. We are working on training locals in the method taught by a school in Austin TX for the communication of non-verbals. I live in Portland, OR and the sites will be in Oregon. Because of what my son went through in the ‘system’ I want to reach out to others so they can live fear free and thrive. Alex has a voice and he is no longer a ghost of society!

    1. Thanks so much Ellen. Publishing my book and putting some personal information in it from my journey was by far the scariest thing that I have ever done. But, as with you, I took a leap of faith and decided that if the path that my family has traveled down helps others to feel like they do not walk in the dark than publishing this book was worth it. Thanks again. You are an inspiration.

  2. Beautiful post and idea. It saddens me to hear the same story over and over when it comes to autism spectrum kids. How they were mistreated in some form, just because the “professionals” didn’t understand them. I had this same struggle with my son, and was told many of things you were. That his meltdowns were unacceptable (even though they pushed him to that point), that he was just “non compliant” (he doesn’t talk when he doesn’t have to, or when he doesn’t know the answer), and that they were going to “fix him” and improve his behavior. Funny, they never succeeded. He’s home schooled now (online public through K12), and we have very few issues. He still has his local friends, thankfully, because they were smarter than the teachers and knew something was different about him early on. They went as far as telling their parents about some of the awful things that were being done, and the parents told me it wasn’t right.

    Whew. Sorry. Passionate subject, isn’t it? Anyway, my hope is for your teaching to reach every school, professional, or anyone else that comes in contact with our autism spectrum and autistic kids. THEY NEED SUPPORT NOT PUNISHMENT!

    1. Kara…I am glad you could relate. I hope my book helps people realize that they do not walk through their experiences alone and yes..there is light at the end of the tunnel. Never apologize for showing passion. Passion breeds the perseverance needed to get through our challenges. Stay well and never underestimate the power to triumph that lies inside of you.

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