Susan's Blog

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Extreme Parenting

I woke up at 5 a.m., to dark rain. But I don’t care, unless it makes my flight dangerous (I’m going to Toronto today to participate in Estee’s conference, The Autism Acceptance Project: Redefining Ability and Quality of Life — with such a subject, how could I not participate??!! Very new and exciting stuff.).

My presentation is a power point that I used to call “Extreme Parenting.” But now I call it “Making Peace with Autism.” I talk about the arc of our family life, broken into roughly three phases: 1) Worrying and Wondering; 2) Diagnosis, Learning Curve, Grief; 3) Understanding, Acceptance, Connection.

I also have some “talking points,” such as:
1) Trust your gut;
2) Figure out your priorities;
3) Get the facts and support;
4) Be as eccentric as you need to be;
5) Give yourself (and everyone else) a break;
6) Success is how you define it

I illustrate these points with excerpts from MPWA and slides from over the years. I talk in between about this and that, stuff that just happened, stuff I’ve been thinking about (like the disability baggage one carries around, the meaningless meaning of terms like “Low-functioning;” — I love to end with that one and then to show pictures of Nat being bar mitvhahed and riding his bike with me. Low-functioning, my Seven-For-All-Mankind blue-jeaned ass!

Look at my baby. Natan-El, “Gift of God”


low functioning, phooey! you tell them. have a safe trip.

— added by Someone Said on Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 7:20 am

Safe Flying. Have you thought of recording your talks? Audio seminars, so to speak…I would love to attend one of the talks, but like so many other parents with high needs kids, I am homebound a lot. Just an idea.

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 10:18 am

Wow! You’re going to be about an hour away from me today! I’m in Peterborough. 🙂 And going to Toronto on Monday for an appointment for Alena.

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 11:22 am

yes! low functioning, shmo shmunctioning!

your presentation sounds great! wish i could be there to hear it in person. have a wonderful time at the conference. i can’t wait to hear all about it.

— added by kyra on Friday, October 13, 2006 at 2:37 pm

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