Hi, thanks for taking the time to learn more about Discover Autism Help and the people behind it.
My name is Kay, author and owner of this site. And my son has autism.
When we first suspected that something may not be quite right about him, I was in denial. I remained in denial until a new therapy was discovered that seemed to cure some children of autism. This was known as secretin therapy.
I was finally willing to admit that my son had autism because secretin gave me hope that he could be cured.
Secretin therapy created quite a buzz in the autism community and many parents tried it with their children. We tried it too, and it gave my son some progress, but not much.
I was glad to get what progress that we could from secretin. But secretin did something else good for me. It helped to push me out of the denial stage and brought me into reality. And only when I accepted the fact that my son had autism could I look it straight in the face and deal with it as I should.
After all, if I deny that something exists, how can I do anything about it?
If you have an older child with autism, you probably remember when secretin therapy was popular. It sort of died down, I think, because secretin didn’t give consistent results. A few children were helped, but many were not.
But that stage of our lives happened a long time ago, 21 years ago to be exact.
Fast forward to today, and we’ve been through a lot.
My son is now 24 years old. He’s made a lot of progress that I’m really happy about.
He was able to do what other people didn’t think he could do.
“I’m afraid your child will always be severely limited in her abilities.”
“Your child will never be able to ______________ (talk, use spontaneous speech, take care of herself, etc. - you can fill in the blank)."
“If a child with autism hasn’t learned to talk by age seven, he never will.”
“Early intervention is absolutely essential for a child with autism to reach her maximum potential.” This is very important information for parents of younger children, but am I getting the message that it’s too late for my older child?
The word discourage can be divided into two parts--dis, courage: to rob of one’s courage.
If you have been discouraged, then please allow me to help you take back your courage.
And even if you are happy with your child’s progress, this site is for you, too. Because no matter how little or how much our children are progressing, we can always do more to help them go further.
If you’re the kind of parent who wants to do what s/he can to help your child reach her potential, I’m here to help. I’m posting a lot of ideas that I think other parents could use who are helping their children. If you’re like me, you’re always ready to hear more ideas about new ways of doing things.
There’s more hope out there today than ever before. It’s really quite amazing. But if we want help for our children, we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to bring them closer to their highest potential.
Before my son was born, I completed my degree in Special Education at the University of Central Florida. Although my college training is invaluable, it doesn’t compare with what I have learned through my research and through other efforts to help my son.
One thing I’ve learned is never to place limits on my child.
When people told me the deadline for speech was age seven, I refused to believe them.
I knew that God can do anything and that He isn't limited by such rules.
We were also blessed with a speech therapist who had enough experience to be able to tell me, “If he’s ever had any speech, we’ll get it out of him.”
That was twelve years ago.
My son was completely nonverbal back then. Now, as a result of speech and numerous other therapies, he’s speaking in sentences.
Regardless of what other therapies your child is getting, I welcome you to search this site for ideas that can help.
I’m hoping that my 24+ years of experience raising a child with autism can somehow benefit you. I’ve sat in on a lot of therapy sessions and I’ve learned a lot.
I’m betting that you’ve learned a lot too. I’m planning for this site to be one where we can share ideas and learn from one another.
As they say, “No one is an island by himself.”
We just need to believe - truly believe - that our children can beat the odds.
Are you ready?
Yours in greater progress,
Kay M. Donato