Archive for September, 2010

By Shannon Penrod

If someone had told me ten years ago that in the future I would be hosting a talk radio show called “Everyday Autism Miracles” I would have assured them were off their nut.  Ten years ago what I knew about Autism couldn’t have filled a Dixie cup and I wasn’t interested in changing the situation.  Autism scared the crap out of me.  As the saying goes time changes everything.  Autism doesn’t scare me anymore.  What scares me now are people who think like I used to and are too afraid to even learn about Autism.

As we get ready to lauch the second season of Everyday Autism Miracles this week I am excited about all of the new information there is to share about Autism, all of the hope, grants, research, funding, biomeds, therapies and programs that are turning the tide.

There is still a lot to be done but there is much to celebrate!  This season on Everyday Autism Miracles we are going to be talking about help for military families affected by Autism, the current status of insurance coverage for Autism treatments, how to get funding for Autism therapies and a program that is going to level the playing field and make it possible for all children with Autism to receive treatment.  We’re going to continue talking to experts and parents who are “getting it done.” 

We are going to keep talking about Autism, so that in ten years time there will be no need to host a radio show about Autism.  If  know a child with Autism join in the conversation on Fridays at 2pm Eastern Standard Time and 11am Pacific time by visiting www.toginet.com.  You can listen to all of the episodes from season 1 by visiting  www.togninet.com/shows/everydayautismmiracles and you can download the free podcast on iTunes by visiting: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/everyday-autism-miracles/id356451530

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By Shannon Penrod

If you saw last week’s Emmy awards then you know who Temple Grandin is.  She was the big winner of the evening, the grey haired woman wearing a cowboy shirt, waving to the audience as the camera came to her time and time again.  She didn’t make the worst dressed list, nobody would have dared.  Temple Grandin is a hero and Sunday’s Emmy telecast was just one of a long line of victories for this amazing woman.

Temple Grandin refers to herself as an “Autistic”.  She is arguably the world’s most famous person with Autism.  A published author, she is a mouth piece for Autism that can not be understated.  Personally, she has given me insight into my son and how he thinks.

Temple thinks in pictures, so do I, but not to the degree that Temple does.  Still, I think and communicate in terms of pictures.  If you ask me how to get to the grocery store, I describe how to get there, I’ll tell you what the store looks like and the gas station you will pass on the way.  This makes sense to me because it is how my brain works.  It wasn’t until I saw a lecture of Temple Grandin’s that I realized that is NOT how everyone’s brain works.

Temple described a brilliant friend of hers that has Autism who thinks in terms of concept, not pictures.  What?  How can you think in terms of concept?  As she described it I realized that she was talking about how my son thinks.  It was as though someone turned on the lights.  For so long I had felt like I needed a translator to enable me to speak to my son.  Temple Grandin handed me the Rosetta Stone – I was talking in pictures, he was hearing in concept.  We weren’t getting anywhere.  Now I remind myself to give him the concept first, then he can make sense of my visual pictures. It was a huge, exciting revelation that led to the greatest thing a parent of a child with Autism can hope for: endless, effortless communication.  Ahhhhhhh.  Thank you, Temple.

There are many other things I’ve learned from Temple Grandin, too many things to mention here.  But I loved that she had her night on Sunday, that her mother was with her, that she was dressed in a cowboy shirt…it gave me sooooo much hope, for the future, for my son and for the world that he will inherit.  Thank you, thank you Temple!

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