Sunday, September 14, 2008

overheard: traveling with autism

today the new york times had an excellent multimedia feature that focused on how a family has intentionally introduced their autistic child to the wonders of travel. anyone who has heard me talk about my experiences accompanying and empowering people with disabilities has probably heard me say that "family is the greatest disability." stories like this, as well as my interaction with many of our participant's families, reminds me that families are the greatest source of ability as well.

anyway, i enjoyed the story and i hope you do as well.


Rags said...

Gentry, you probably didn't know, but our son has been diagnosed with mild autism. For the past year he has been attending an INTENSE preschool for autistic kids - six hours a day/five days a week of one-on-one therapy. It has made an enormous difference. He is just turning four next month, and his teachers feel that he has already made so much progress in speech and behavior that he's now ready to be "mainstreamed" (even though I hate that word) into a traditional preschool. You would have a very hard time even identifying any autistic behavior in Logan today. It blew us away (and it was awesome in God's timing) that this state-of-the-art school opened in Joplin just as Logan was getting diagnosed.

Anyway, I totally agree about the travel thing. We made the decision when Logan was first born and before we even knew there would be a problem that we would not stop going places no matter how difficult it would be. He was on a plane to Boston at six weeks old. Later, when Logan was more difficult, we basically decided that this was our son and we were not ashamed. People do give you some strange (sometimes judgmental) looks, and I was ashamed at the way I had made certain judgments on other parents before. Logan has been much better off by not being sheltered by his parents. Now he hates staying at the house too long, and he actually behaves better than his non-autistic, red-headed sister.

g13 said...

logan is a very blessed young man. he couldn't have been given better parents than you and tara.

thank you for sharing.