Under normal circumstances I would be sitting here bashing out my latest crazy idea. But this week is different. This week I celebrate the first step in something that, I believe, will become a valuable resource for parents of children on the Autism spectrum.
Some people reading this blog will be aware that, about 2-years ago, my middle child was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome – a high-functioning form of autism. Since finding this out, my wife, that wonderfully intelligent and sensitive woman with bad-taste in men, has dedicated herself to finding out all she can about this disorder, and working with our son to help him overcome the difficulties, and maximize his strengths.
The results have been, frankly, magical. In just 2 years Gregory has changed from a tense ball of frustration and anger, rejecting all forms of social interaction, to an incredibly loving and relaxed little boy. I can’t tell you what a difference this has made to the entire family.
Seeing the incredible transformation that Joanne has managed to achieve with Gregory, I have encouraged her to help other people who find themselves with similar issues. My latest suggestion was that she start a blog to document her struggle, and the techniques she has discovered, so that other people can benefit from her experiences.
This has been a constant up-hill battle. Not because she doesn’t want to help, but because she is incredibly modest and finds the idea of self-promotion distasteful. The most common answer to my urgings have been “But I’m not an expert” and “There are so many great resources out there, why would people be interested in what I have to say?”
Finally, probably to shut me up, she agreed to check with some other friends on whether they thought it was a good idea and…no surprise…they were 100% behind her, and Aspergers : A Mom’s Eye View has been born.
Fortunately, I have no such qualms about promoting Joanne and what she can achieve when she puts her mind to something.
Joanne is, without a doubt, the most intelligent person I have ever met – and I have met many intelligent people. She has an ability to absorb information at a frightening rate, and then simplify it, such that even I can understand it. Since our diagnosis, Joanne has read a vast number of books on the subject of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), taken classes, worked with our local schools, and attended conferences.
But, most importantly, Joanne is a mom with a child in need. And it is this combination of a mom’s story, combined with the knowledge that she has gained, that I believe will be a powerful aid to parents who find themselves in the same situation.
So, I wanted to dedicate this week’s blog post to introducing Aspergers : A Mom’s Eye View. I hope you will enjoy reading it, and will pass this along to anyone who is in need of support and advice.