Our Mission

March 23, 2012

I first learned about Autism in Junior High (for me that was back in the mid 80’s). I remember watching a video of a boy sitting on the floor rocking back and forth & flapping his hands in the air. He couldn’t speak, did not like physical contact and appeared to be “in his own world”. All the years since then, that is what I pictured the “signs” of Autism to be. The picture has definitely changed for me now. When you hear the words Autism & your loved ones name in the same sentence your picture of Autism changes forever. Now, it is a bright, sweet boy named Zakary who loves to swim, play video games & goof around with his younger sister. It is a bright, sweet boy who doesn’t look you in the eye very much, who has a few friends, but struggles in social situations & who makes my heart stop every time he says “I love you” unprompted.

Zakary was the “perfect” baby. He was happy, slept 8 hours at a time by 9 weeks old and could play with one toy for what seemed like an eternity. Baby Einstein movies were like a “drug” and, he could sit (or stand on a chair) and hit the light switch on an off for as long as we would let him. He was (and still is) the smartest boy I know. He knew the alphabet before he was 2, recited books at 3 and could “fix” the preschool computer for his teacher at 4. We were thrilled he was such a little brainiac & thought he would be an engineer with his fascination of how things worked. Now we know, those were “signs”. We missed the “signs”. Fortunately the preschool he was attending pulled us aside and suggested we bring Zak to a doctor to be observed. They didn’t come out and say, “We think he is Autistic”, but they did express concern (thank goodness) regarding certain behaviors they were observing. We brought him in right away and after answering several questions and through observation, the doctor gave us an initial diagnosis that our son was on the “Autism spectrum”. Later we brought him to a developmental psychologist and received a formal diagnosis of high functioning Autism.

I remember feeling numb and sad and scared, but I certainly thought this doctor would help put us on the path to helping our son. That is not a crazy thought considering when you go to the doctor and you are diagnosed with something, there is a plan provided to help you. You are provided information about your condition and options for treatment are discussed with you. The only information we were provided was a photocopied flyer for a social group. THAT WAS IT.

So, we bought books, researched on the internet and starting learning all we could about Autism and what the treatment plan was. It was time consuming, expensive, and at times, most times, we felt overwhelmed. I was lucky enough to find a mother who started down the path before me and was kind enough to give me some guidance. She was informed, empathetic and available when I needed her. She was an angel!

OUR MISSION

Now that we are further down the path, we want to do the same thing. We want to help families on their Autism journey. We want to share what we have done and what we continue to do to help our son as well as our daily experiences with where we are at on our journey. We want to be a resource for information & support so others do not need to feel as overwhelmed as we did. You will see posts from both of us to get perspective from mom & dad. We are not doctors & we are not experts on everything Autism and some of the things we have done that have worked for us may not work for you, but we want to educate anyone we can about what we did because we have seen amazing improvements in our son and that is a wonderful, hopeful feeling.

Autism is a challenging road. We have been on it for almost 5 years and it still can bring me to my knees, but we always get up and keeping moving forward because we have strong support and all the knowledge and experience we have gained makes us feel empowered to continue the fight to help not only our son, but our entire family lead an amazing life.

Zak’s Dad & Zak’s Mom

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Caitlyn Plowman April 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Admiring the persistence you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.
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zaksdad April 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Thank you Caitlyn. We will reciprocate on your site as well. Take care and stay sane.

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Quiteria Guardado Baeza April 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is just great and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

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Karrie Hird May 9, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, as well as the content!

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zaksdad May 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Thank you! Not very long…about 1 month. Website layout is all ZAKSDAD’s hard work – he’s done it all on his own. Content is easier because it is our passion.

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