Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Suess’

by Shannon Penrod

Friday is World Autism Day.  In honor of the day Autism Speaks has asked us all to “Light it up Blue”.  The “it” to be lit blue is up to each and every one of us.  The Empire State Building will be blue, Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia will be blue and my porch light will be blue.  It’s subtle, but the idea is pure.  This is something that affects all of us.

If Autism isn’t affecting you now, it is my sad job to tell you that it will soon. Whether it is your child or the child who sits next to your child, your friend’s grandchild or your bosses child, someone in your life is or will be dealing with Autism soon.  The statistics are staggering.  Conservative estimates have us at 1 in 100 children worldwide, 1 out every 70 boys.  Before you excuse these numbers with theories of misdiagnosis or bad parenting consider for a moment the disservice you do these courageous children who are fighting daily just to be a part of our world. 

Autism is real.  It’s not going away.  But there is help and there is hope.  This Friday please put your cynicism aside and offer the children and families that are on the front lines of Autism your support.  Find something to light up blue, whether it means wearing a blue shirt or sending all your emails in blue type, make the effort.  Because as Dr. Suess once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”

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by Shannon Penrod

Have you ever just been moving along in a direction, happy go lucky when out of the blue something so devastating comes along that it has the ability to completely decimate all your hard work and progress. This was my day yesterday. It started with a phone call suggesting I check my email. I have a son who is recovering from Autism. He receivesABA therapy in our home from a group of super talented therapists, our service provider is CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders). The therapy is paid for by our local regional center. Here in California we are truly fortunate that children with Autism can receive these services for free. There is a lengthy application process, a long waiting period, tons of restrictions and mountains of paperwork before you can receive the therapy. It doesn’t matter – it’s worth it.

When my son was almost two we noticed that he gradually started speaking less and less, and he became harder and harder to reach – It was a nightmare that ended in a diagnosis of Autism. It took us six months to be able to receive ABA, we tried other therapies in the meantime, with little or no progress. Then CARD came to our home and everything changed. Everything!

Long story short – Miracles happen in my living room on a daily basis. All because of this therapy.

And yesterday we found out that The California State Board of Education has decided to change the criteria for ABA therapists with no warning and no transition period. The result if allowed will be devastating. Not a single member of my son’s talented team of therapists meets the new requirements. It is estimated that over 70% of the ABA therapists in the State of California do not meet the requirements. They could with some time but that is not current allowed for. As of October 1st if nothing changes my son and thousand of other children in California will not receive therapy. Devastating. Unthinkable. Unacceptable.

If you have a child on the Autism Spectrum, if you know a child on the spectrum, if you are just a person with a voice who believes what DR. Suess said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Please pick up your pen today and write to:

Deb Strain, Rulemaking Coordinator
California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-0155

mark you comment
URGENT: Comment to proposed rulemaking: Regarding Non-Public Schools and Agencies; proposed changes to Title 5 CCR Section 3065; Board of Education meeting September 2008, Agenda Item No. 13

Your comments will only be received until September 30th. Let them know that you are a concerned citizen and a tax payer and you won’t stand for this!

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