In a lot of ways, when there's no cure for autism but a series of treatments to help your child cope with the world around him, my son is a pioneer.
He was the first patient in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Feeding Clinic. He was one of the first students in the Shakespeare and Autism program. He's thirteen now, just started seventh grade, and his whole life is ahead of him. So many experiences, so many more relationships await.
And there's always the thought of what happens when I'm gone in my head.
We're keeping him in horseback lessons, the rate is reasonable and it does not conflict with school. Tomorrow one of the local news stations is filming his lesson as part of a story they're doing on the center where the lessons take place. Stockhands Horses for Healing.
There are a number of parents who have paved the way for me (who are the real pioneers) and who have been a guide to me in dealing with my son's autism. I cannot thank Katie enough. She came in my life through Live Journal and has been a friend who is always willing to listen to me vent about shit. My friend Mary Beth has helped me though thick and thin while dealing with her son's condition and her own health issues.
After reading her book, Making Peace With Autism - Susan Senator has been a swami of information as she works though a maze of bureaucracy in her success in having her son thrive. We've never met, but our lives have intertwined like family.
They and so many others have made me realize I'm not alone in dealing with this. Despite some philosophical differences my son's Mother is terrific and none of this would be happening without the love and support of my Wife, who took on the task of raising another person's child as her own - and has put up with some crazy shit in the process.
I've just started reading the book NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman and have a feeling this is going to be the book that makes people realize that there are going to be a fuckton of autistic adults out there in a few years. Something I've been screaming about for several years now. We're not prepared for the numbers. Silberman has done some extensive research into the history of autism and from what the buzz says predicts a lot about what's going to be happening in the world of autism in the next few decades. I'm looking forward to the conversation this book is going to start.