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Autism: An understanding by the broader community is growing!
By Cynthia Burk
OurHometown.ca


Autism: An understanding by the broader community is growing!
I read the amazing letter shared by Kerry Magro and bawled. It hit home as many stories from our community do and I shared it with friends and family and posted it on our facebook page. I thought I would write a short article to share it with the broader community. I often write our community meaning the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) community, and it is a great and broad community thanks to social media.

Stoney Point - December 14, 2014 - I read the amazing letter shared by Kerry Magro and bawled. It hit home as many stories from our community do and I shared it with friends and family and posted it on our facebook page. I thought I would write a short article to share it with the broader community. I often write “our community” meaning the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) community, and it is a great and broad community thanks to social media. A community that shares stories of our struggles and triumphs, ideas on everything from getting kiddos to sleep to not stripping at every opportunity, and laughs at the zany antics that can happen in a day (like the stripping). About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. ASD is almost five times more common among boys (1 in 42) than girls (1 in 189). These are eye opening numbers!

Kerry’s letter hit home for us as our son, soon to be five, remains non-verbal so we are encouraged by his story. Hey, we aren’t delusional, statistically we know as each year passes he won’t speak BUT he works incredibly hard and all of us will always work on speech. In the meantime, augmentative communication becomes key, and for us, that’s a core board which will lead to a device. As Kerry states, augmentative communication, speech, occupational therapy, IBI and lots of love are key; especially for our little dude who is also epileptic and is impacted by apraxia.

An understanding of ASD by everyone is a necessity and it is happening. Our son started out in a neurotypical (not displaying or characterized by autistic or other neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behaviour) school in September as we were on a waiting list for IBI (Intensive Behavioural Intervention). His teacher had not had an ASD student prior, but she was incredible and has learned a ton (and our son blossomed at school - love his teacher, EA and ECE). Everyone on the spectrum is different but she’s had exposure to our nugget and we’ve shared a ton of general information that everyone in the school has absorbed including his classmates and the school in general. Understanding/educating is key. He transitioned from his neurotypical school after a couple of months to IBI but he will transition back within a couple of years and they will be ready.

I hope that everyone who reads this article and Kerry’s letter walks away with a bit of knowledge about ASD and understanding in relation to what a day can look like for a family with a loved one with ASD. We are grateful for the support of our family and friends, the region of Windsor-Essex which houses a community and therapists which are AMAZING and our hamlet of Stoney Point/Pointe-Aux-Roches.




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If you think there is something that we might be interested in for this column, please drop me a line at cburk@ourhometown.ca

Cynthia Burk is a General Manager by profession and a first time Momma. She now has no extra money to collect wine and lives vicariously through her friends that actually get sleep. She loves experimenting in the kitchen ... with food. If you have questions or wish to contact Cynthia, you can email her at cburk@ourhometown.ca


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