MamaLovesTrevor

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Ed Arranga wrote:
12 years 33 weeks ago

Let me extend to you my personal welcome to our AutismOne Social Network. AutismOne is now the “one-stop-shopping center” for information about autism. We have the annual conference in Chicago, AutismOne radio, the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy, the AutismOne Social Network and the AutismOne Store.



 

We urge you to log in on a regular basis and read the blogs and articles. If you see something with which you agree or disagree then please add a comment with your thoughts. This is an open community designed to help and support. We like to hear all sides.


 

Then write a blog, long or short, to express your thoughts or ask a question. I am looking forward to reading your opinions.


 

With my best regards,
Ed Arranga Executive Director AutismOne.org

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Member Since June 13, 2010

About Me

Name
Laura Blanchard
Age
44 years
Location
St Joseph, Michigan
A Little About Me: 

Hello! First and foremost...I am the proud mother of 7 year old boy who was diagnosed at age 3 with ASD & Sensory Integrative Dysfunction; ADHD at age 5. My husband, to whom I have been married to for almost 8 years, has been diagnosed himself with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a also on the Autism Spectrum. Because of these two special people in my life, I have spent the last 6 years reexamining life; perspectives, people, attitudes, every aspect you can possibly imagine along with the rollercoaster ride of adjusting to life with a "disability". I use quotes because for me, it is truly about PERSPECTIVE...it IS truly a choice as to whether you view what seems like to many others as an obstacle as a stumbling block or a stepping stone...I have NEVER viewed my son's issues as deficiencies but rather focused on HIS needs, strengths and talents, and that is what has brought us to where we are today!

What I am Here For: 
To have learned how to become my son's #1 advocate; guiding him through the ups and downs of his issues. He has made wonderful strides and continually inspires me with his improvement and wisdom. I am always amazed at how just when I think I have him "all figured out" he can totally surprise me, and he literally is the most loving boy I have ever known!
Autism Help / Accomplishments: 

As for me, I am currently involved with several Michigan collaboratives to improve early childhood/education awareness, increase funding, and provide greater access and ease of services to parents and families for all children, not just those with special needs, although that does hold a special place in my heart! (Of course). Most of my experience thus far has been within various parts of Michigan (Oakland County, Macomb County, Kent County), Central Massachusetts (Worcester County, Middlesex County), and Ohio (Wood County). However, I am rapidly becoming acquainted with the Southwestern side of Michigan (Berrien County) and hope to become an integral part of the progress that is being made here. Some of the organizations I have had the priviledge to be involved with are the Autism Resource Center of Central MA, the Autism Society of NW Ohio, Autism Society of MI, START (Statewide Autism Resources & Training) for Berrien County, Great Start Collaborative and Great Start Parent Coalition of Berrien County.

My Daily Motivations: 

My spiritual connection and relationship with God, and using that in combination with the love I have for my son to learn how to become my son's #1 advocate; guiding him through the ups and downs of his issues. He has made wonderful strides and continually inspires me with his improvement and wisdom. I am always amazed at how just when I think I have him "all figured out" he can totally surprise me, and he literally is the most loving boy I have ever known!

Help Needed: 
I would also appreciate and love any feedback and tips from others as I realize that this is an evolutionary process (the knowledge part, that is!) and I am still learning myself. I am always seeking new information regarding advocacy, legalities with regard to the IEP process, and any other tidbits that have been beneficial in someone's life.
Help to Give: 

I would love the opportunity to assist others in answering any questions or guiding someone in a viable direction with some options, seeing as this is usually the most difficult task for most parents/caregivers/persons with Autism/Aspergers/PDD-NOS. You tend to feel isolated and don't know where to start amongst the whirlwind of information spinning around you! I am truly a firm believer that knowledge is power in the sense that it allows not only education, but enlightenment, and most importantly, embracement.