What I am Here For:
Once I had recovered from learning our lives had been forever changed by autism, I began to research and learn absolutely everything I could about this affliction. Still do. I was absolutely shocked by the statistics, then one in 166. I quickly realized the magnitude of lack of services for individuals with autism. I was nothing short of appalled. Still am. I began to fight. Still do that too. The exception is, once I began to realize the extraordinary community our family had become a part of, I soon began to feel I was a part of something of exceptional quality and caliber. I felt I had realized my mission on this Earth and for my life. I began to fight for ALL of the families living with autism. I began to recognize them as our extended family. It is with honor that I pride fully fight alongside each and every one!
Autism Help / Accomplishments:
I was appointed to be the treasurer of our local autism support group here in NW Iowa, Piecing It All Together. The other warrior moms often lovingly refer to me as “the one women wrecking ball” as I have a tendency to be doer. I have a propensity to put my everything into those things most important to me. Families with autism rank number one on the to do list in my book.
I am also a District Leader for Autism Action Network, formerly A-CHAMP. My most notable work and contributions are best outlined in the following links.
I also tear it up pretty good on Facebook. I have become a bit of an informational center for anything autism. I post links to pieces, stories, videos, documentaries, resources and the like, daily. I obtain info from a variety of reliable sources and exceptional contributors. My autism friends and families visit my pages on regular basis looking for information, keeping up to date with our ever changing world. If you are so inclined, look me up!
Interestingly enough, I am a paraeducator in our local public school working with both general ed. and special education students of all ages. I had chosen to make a career change for less money, far fewer benefits, and less hours. I was defiantly sticking my neck out in order to do something I felt driven and perhaps even “chosen” to do. It was also a change that would be much more conducive to having a family., which was and still is very important to us, my husband and myself. Little did I know then….my son would be diagnosed with autism a year and a half later. He was twenty- six months old. I have since become a resource as well as a referral for our school and for families new, and sometimes not so new, to the world of autism.
I love to write. When I am moved to do so and I have the time, you will find me here on AutismOne. I have also been known to on occasion contribute to Age of Autism. When and if you happen across my work, I hope that you find it informational, insightful, helpful, enlightening or entertaining.
To recover my son. If recovery is not a possibility, I'd like to ensure him of a full, meaningful, independent life. A life full of more happy times than sad. I wish to raise him to be a well adjusted, productive, contributing member of society. If he desires anything beyond that, I will find a way for him to achieve it.
I hope to see a cure for autism in my lifetime. I want to be a part of stopping autism in its tracks and reversing the damage it’s done. I envision a time when autism is something read about in history books not dreaded and feared. A day when autism stops stealing lives from children and children form their parents.
Time. Time is my biggest shortcoming. There just is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs attention. A house keeper and a secretary would be of great help.
Money! As with the vast majority of our families suffering the grips of autism, money is a perpetual setback. Unfortunately, autism comes with an extremely distended price tag.
I spend most of my time advocating for individuals with autism or working. I like to help others, however I may be able. I love the Earth, gardeing and landscaping. My family is everything to me! I'd walk to the ends of the Earth and back for them. Some days, I feel as though I already have...
Believe it or not, politics. It's a love-hate relationship. Causes. I'm interested in and love to help with all sorts of causes. I love doing for others. I like to read when I have time. I enjoy photography. I dabble in writing. When I do write or compose, it comes from deep within, from the heart. Walking. I enjoy a nice walk, especially now that it is something my son enjoys doing with me!
Books / Magazines:
"A Child's Journey out of Autism: One Family's Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure" by Leeann Whiffen,
"Changing the Course of Autism: A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians" by Dr. Bryan Jepsen,
"Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy" by David Kirby,
"If You Could Hear What I See" by Kathy Buckley,
"Letters to Sam" by Daniel Gottlieb,
"A Thorn in My Pocket" by Eustacia Cutler,
"The Game of My Life: A True Story of Challenge, Triumph and Growing Up Autistic" By Jason J-Mac McElwain with Daniel Paisner,
"Emergence: Labeled Autistic" and "Thinking In Pictures" by Dr. Temple Grandin,
"The Sacred Spark" by the Rev. Lisa Sykes,
"The Autism File" and "Spectrum" Magazines
"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson;
"It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped." Hubert H. Humphrey;
"Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History!" Laurel Thatcher Ulrich;
"Do what you can with what you have where you are." President Theodore Roosevelt;
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it."
Dr. Maya Angelou, American poet, author, educator;
"That which does not kill you, can only make you stronger.";
Life's What Happens When You've Made Other Plans. My mom;
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.";
"Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.";
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limitations.
~ Albert Einstein~ ;
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.";
"Looking back it seems to me, All the grief that had to be.Left me when the pain was o'er, Stronger than I was before." Anonymous;
Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. Saint Augustine;
"Women are like tea bags - you never know how strong they are till you drop them in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt;
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going
to stay where you are. - John Pierpont Morgan;
"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.
It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.'
Then there are those who see the need and respond.
I consider those people my heroes." - Fred " Mr." Rogers, Children's TV Show Star;
"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them."
Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things that Matter. Martin Luther King;
"One you choose hope, anything's possible."
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste!”;
Mahatma Gandhi :
"God has no religion.",
The future depends on what we do in the present.,
You must be the change you want to see in the world.,
The deeper the search in the mine of truth, the richer the discovery of gems buried here in the shape of openings for an ever greater variety of services.,
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result”,
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”,
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.,
"An error can never become true however many times you repeat it. The truth can never be wrong, even if no one hears it.",
"Even if your are in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.",
My wonderful husband, who has supported me in all of my endeavors and throughout all of the emotions and battles that autism coerces. He trusts my judgment, faithfully stands beside me, and allows the chaos into our home that autism advocacy can often ignite. He is my rock, my always steady and ever soothing force, my king. He will forever be the love of my life.
Without a doubt, my son. He never ceases to amaze me. His courage to persevere and take on autism; looking it, the autism, squarely in the face, is nothing short of heroic! He inspires me and so many others every single day. His life is a constant battle but he pursues it with an unbelievable attitude, a smile on his face and joy in his heart. A mother could not ask for more. He is and will always be my pride and joy!
My mother and father who selflessly, generously raised me to be the women I am today. Without their unyielding, unconditional love, we most certainly would have lost this siege. Their love and support carries me through, upward and onward. Their willingness to embrace our autism filled lives means more to me than words could ever convey.
My mother and father-in-law to whom I own my husband’s life. They succeeded in raising the most incredible man, the finest of men. Their extraordinary perception on life and remarkable attitude has undoubtedly contributed to his welfare. For that, I will forever be indebted to them.
The families! All of the autism families. They are the source of my motivation much of the time. They never cease to astound me. The challenges they courageously learned to overcome, the hurdles they bravely leapt, the mountains they’ve been forced to climb and inevitably conquered. They take it all in stride, all the while sharing their knowledge and experiences that others may be alleviated of some of the pain and suffering which they themselves had to endure. I have never been more proud to be a part of anything in all of my life.
So many autism activists, both old and new to the cause. I have so many heroes whom I admire within this community there literally exist too many to list. We are so very blessed in the autism world by the company we keep. It may be a world we’ve unknowingly, unwontedly been thrust into, but I’d not trade the associations both familiar and from afar for anything. I am consecrated having shared in this journey with a myriad of selfless warriors from every conceivable walk of life and each far reaching corner of the globe.