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Autism: Every Day a New Beginning!
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Awareness is the key!

I am an accountant and secondary education instructor and course designer but my real passion is Autism Awareness. Ever since my son was diagnosed with Autism, I have tried to make his life the best possible.

My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years and she even beat Thyroid Cancer but we weren’t prepared for the challenges Evan presented. We are both focused completely on him and want everyone to understand him and all those on the spectrum.

Interesting week to say the least!

September 18, 2013 | 02:05 PM

Awareness is the Key!

Hello again--- what a week! Lots to talk about this week, some confusing, some good and even some great! Pretty typical of everybody's week I think. Mine is nothing special.

Evan still eats bread but even more surprising is that it only took 3 days until he would eat, on his own, four of the mini-blueberry muffins. THREE DAYS! We would have never thought it possible yet it was. I learned from this that anything is possible, we just have to try. Success isn't possible if you don't try. Now I sound like Handy Manny when he says, "you can't finish a project if you don't start it". His "school", the Applied Behavior Center took a group to the zoo today for a community outing and Evan manded (asked) for blueberry muffins for a snack. We are ecstatic and are ready for the next option: hamburgers!

Evan started on a new medicine which is for Alzheimer patients but has shown promise in those on the spectrum to increase vocabulary. Namenda is taken orally and he has taken it for just over five weeks and it looks like it may be helping. Each day at school, Evan does echoic training where he is to mimic the sound that the therapist makes. A month ago we would get positive results about 30 times a day but that number has basically doubled since. Promising results so far but we never know what tomorrow will bring our way. We can only pray and hope for continued success.

Great news from the doctor visit though is that Evan is now in the 5th percentile for height and weight! That is only the second time ever that he has been "on the charts" at the same time. He was very small at birth since he was five weeks early, 4 lbs. 11 oz., and always mirrored the chart but just couldn't get to or stay above the line. I don't think he'll ever play center in basketball; but neither did I!

Speaking of medicine, I attended a seminar about the Affordable Care Act that goes into effect in January. Not much new information except that the website will be up and running on October 1. Everyone needs to have insurance for next year but we just need to concentrate and ensure that Evan's insurance covers ABA therapy; not all insurance plans or networks will cover it. One more stress to contend with I guess.

The new magazine, Autism Companion, with Evan on the cover has done real well so far. Lots of copies out in the public and with each and every copy mean more awareness to the viewer. I hope everyone gets a chance to read the magazine as most of it is written by those of us immediately affected by autism. It may be our kids, it may be our grand-kids, and it may even be us but it really comes from the heart. There is a lot of good information that this and other magazines give to the public. Knowledge is the gateway to awareness.

One last item for this week, I went against the perceived norm for a 57 year old accountant/college instructor and got a tattoo. That is it above and obviously I got it for Evan! I love it and am glad I did it!

Awareness is the Key!


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