By Lisa Ackerman
Ok, I admit it; this article may be counter to public opinion. This article may strike someone as “that is not possible.” Once you read the next sentence, you will understand the title of this blog: I believe in people diagnosed with autism. So call me controversial because I choose to believe in our kids and their future. I do not accept a “there is no hope, nothing you can do prognosis”.
Here is what I believe:
I believe they can overcome a label.
I believe they can live healthy lives.
I believe they can attend neighborhood schools.
I believe they can learn typical curriculum just like their typical peers.
I believe they can play sports.
I believe they can have play dates and enjoy activities with friends.
I believe they can go to school dances.
I believe they can go to school prep rallies and football games AND HAVE FUN.
I believe they can invite someone to go to a school dance. And go!
I believe they can go to college.
I believe they can date.
I believe they can get married.
I believe in recovery after speech, behavioral, occupational therapies, and medical treatment unique to their needs.
I believe individuals with autism can recover.
Why do I believe? I believe because of what I have witnessed. I have been directly involved with thousands of personal reports from parents I know; all sharing improvement, recovery and wonderful accomplishments… They are real stories. They are not “autism urban myths.”
I am one of those family stories. My son Jeff has made astounding progress. Had I believed his prognosis over a decade ago, he would not be living with our family. He is thriving and continues to work through his list of “cannot do’s”. Each year we marvel at what he tackles next.
I also believe that sadly some individuals will not recover from autism, but we can’t predict that. I DO believe all individuals can make progress toward leading a fulfilling life. I know all individuals deserve the hope and chance to improve their condition. I am committed to keep looking for answers to help all TACA families—ALWAYS.
I wanted to share my thoughts right here. I know we have more answers to find. Until we find them, I will continue my diligent efforts, I will keep fighting for a better future and until someone proves that there really is nothing you can do I will remain hopeful.
I believe in our kids.