Jun 10, 2008

autism in the news

I am trying to stay current on everything that is going on in the news about autism and vaccines. Here is my opinion...I think there are way too many vaccines given to babies. There should be an alternate schedule to take into account small birth weight, premature, and sickly babies. As for Jon and I, we will definitely demand and alternate vaccine schedule. I know its controversial, but until they find out what causes autism I am going to error on the safe side.

This brings me to my next thought. On Good Morning America they had a short segment on autism...I'm not sure if it is going to be a special (I need to look that up so I can TIVO it). Anyway, the people on the special were from a group called "Autism and Proud" and they feel that we should not be trying to find a "cure" for autism. They insist that it would be better if we just celebrated the differences. This got me thinking...when I first started doing ABA therapy, I thought the same thing. I didn't understand why we were trying to make these kids "normal". I mean what is "normal" anyway, right? After being in this profession for 2 years, I am now much more educated on the subject. First, there are many, many types of therapy/interventions out there that claim to cure autism. ABA is the only evidence based intervention that has been proven to help (not cure, but teach). Everyday I teach kids with autism how to learn from their environment and how to interact with the people in it. The kids that I work with are severe and the thought of just not teaching them breaks my heart. These kids deserve to learn and if they are not learning the way we typically teach, then we need to change the way we teach. I agree that we should celebrate these children. They all have extraordinary abilities, just as every child does, but to ignore their autistic tendencies and not try to teach them better ways to communicate or have fun...that is just not in the best interest of the child.

I know this is a controversial topic, and I hope I didn't offend anyone, but this is whats on my mind tonight.

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