Susan's Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I’m Speaking in Wyoming

I just found out I am going to be the keynote for a conference in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the state’s Early Intervention and Education Program, on August 10, at around 1pm. Very excited; I haven’t been to Wyoming since I was 12. Just the name “Cheyenne” is so amazing! It is SO western!!!! Yay. I have a few different power points that I use but I think with the new book I should use some of the new material. I love having this kind of project to prepare; pulling together just the right information and message is very challenging and fun.


Congratulations on the gig!

— added by Someone Said on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Please do everyone a favor and don't tell parents who have kids young enough to be in E/I to just "accept" their kids. Urge them to find intensive therapists, as early as possible, who can help their kids now so they don't end up in residential as adults.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

To Anonymous —
You've misunderstood my message of acceptance. I would and do always speak of the benefit of early therapies; take a look at my Boston Globe article on my website, for example.

As for "ending up in residential as adults," you sound so judgmental I don't know where to start. You never know what a family might need to do, and it is not the case that residential living is always some kind of undesirable outcome. And there is no guarantee that intensive therapy will produce a particular outcome, anyway.

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Hi Anonymous – I'm not so sure I am liking the 'just' before the word accept in your comment. As if it were all that easy. Those of us with 'different' kids struggle long and hard, over many years, to 'just' accept our kids and not chase the therapy wagon all our lives. It takes some mighty deep thinkin' to get to a place where they both exist, happily, together.

I also happen to take some offense with the 'don't end up in residential as adults' line of thinking. That statement's almost indicative of some kind of 'failure' on our kids or us? I don't buy it, not one red cent of it. We all, as parents, do our best for our kids. I don't accept that there is a continuum along which our kids with autism fall, and at the end is residential. It does not deem us, our kids or the system as failures.

— added by Penny on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 6:14 am

Anonymous obviously has not been reading this blog or Sue's book. Many congratulations on getting the recognition you deserve!

— added by Donna on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 6:40 am

one more comment for anonymous…my son was diagnosed at 15 months which is unusually early…and I was told he needed 25 hours a week of one on one therapy…guess what..we live in a state where they wouldn't provide it! So even though we did what everyone is saying and spotted the early warning signs, it doesnt amount to a hill of beans if you live in the state of Florida….alot of things are easier said then done.
The gig sounds great Sue…wish I could go:)

— added by eileen on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 9:07 am

Hi Susan,
I'm in denver and would love to come! Do you know what time you'll be speaking? I've tried to find some info online but haven't been very successful.

— added by S on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:39 am

hi S — i altered the post to give the time for my speech: 1 pm. thanks.

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Of the utmost importance, I think, is to somehow educate "private" preschool teachers and daycare workers about EI and public school "child find" programs.

When my son was age 2 and in a church-run preschool (they're nearly all church-run where I live, unfortunately), I began to realize that something was wrong. Neither the teachers nor the preschool director knew where I could go for help. They just suggested we go to our pediatrician with concerns (our pediatrician also gave us no EI or child find info). I even had one preschool teacher tell me it was "illegal" for her to voice concerns about one of her students to that student's parents!

If preschool teachers aren't educated on this subject, lots of kids fall thru the cracks.

— added by L. on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Our 11 year old son moved to a residential facility 3 weeks ago. He is treated so lovingly and respectfully – and, already, with lots and lots of staff, he's making great strides. My husband and I are very grateful for this opportunity for him, and his younger NT brother is also very happy for him. We tried everything under the sun, including intensive therapy, to help him be as productive as possible, and do not, in any way, feel like failures because he has taken this step. We know that we are still helping him, unselfishly, by letting him go.

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Hi Susan,
I haven't checked your blog in a while and just cliked on it. I couldn't believe it when I saw that you are going to Cheyenne. My Mother was born and raised in Cheyenne. My Dad was stationed there during the war. I have been going to Cheyenne since I was a little girl. Hope you have a great time. Wish I could be there to hear you speak. I am going to try to catch up on your life. Hope Nat is doing well.

— added by Melanie Susman on Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 9:51 pm

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