Saturday, October 15, 2011

ARI Conference

Sorry for the lack of posts. We are moving which has created a whole new level of chaos.

As I sit waiting for my flight after the ARI conference, I reflect back. This past 3 days has been filled with hugs to newly diagnosed parents, many in tears, talking about my son's recovery from Autism, what helped, what didn't, our hurdles and accomplishments. I remember my first conference as a new parent in this world of Autism. I was scared, sleep deprived, angry that we were apart of this group at all and devastated by the lack of answers from mainstream doctors. The past 4 years has gone way too fast for one thing but has been filled with ups and downs. There are always new things to try, more studies to be read and supplements to add. But the thing that stands out is the normalcy that our family has now. We make decisions on what we want to do, not based on what my son's system cannot handle. This is a place I am still not always comfortable. Sometimes I still wait for the other shoe to drop, but these days it usually doesn't. And being at ARI makes me remember those days. I always tell people that each child is different, there is no one size fits all treatment approach but all kids can get better. Maybe not all will recover but wouldn't you try? Our story is amazing but not impossible. And that is what I hope I got across, especially to those parents in tears, opening up to those of us who have "been there". Autism is not for the weak. And I met a friend from the internet, an adult with Autism. She is amazing and I loved meeting her in person. Learning from her will give me additional perspective that may help my son and others. We still have a lot to learn but we have to share successes.

As we prepare to move our family, I can say that we did so without fear. Change is good these days, before it was a dirty word. Adaptability has replaced inflexibility. This change was met with excitement and enthusiasm. It was of course tempered with sadness at missing his friends. The fact that he has friends is reason to celebrate. But he's excited at what is to come and that friends is progress! Never give up, recovery is possible, my son is proof (and pretty darn amazing at that!).