"Today's decisions are tomorrow's realities."
- Marsha Petri Sue
As we enter 2012, I am trying to keep Marsha's words in mind. Our long-time senior therapist has resigned to pursue a career at the local regional provider and we are adjusting to the change.
One of the traps I am trying to avoid is "have we done enough?" Years from now, like many parents, I will look back and ask if we did enough intervention with A to try to ameliorate her autism. The harder we work now, the easier later will become.
Parents of a newly diagnosed child desperately seek a way to help their child "recover" from autism, a loaded phrase, but essentially a phrase meaning their child achieves average functioning in most areas. The success of many children is still a minority - very few children meet this milestone. I am learning to focus less on recovery as a goal and instead look at how far we have come, and how far A has come relative to most others with autism.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment is A's inability to develop functional spoken language, despite trying everything. She has some words, but her articulation is very unclear. She is able to communicate well with her iPad and for this I am very thankful, but it is still not the same. In fact, I have had people comment that if not for the iPad they might have trouble detecting her autism as easily.
Looking back, I have to be content that we did everything "right", and the present reality is best outcome for us...
- She was diagnosed at 22 months
- ABA began at 22 months
- Funded EIBI began at 30 months
- Tried PROMPT, intensive speech therapy for hours