Tag Archives: early intervention

wake up

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I get this question at least once a week.

Usually from friends who have friends. Usually from friends that are trying to be good friends.

“I think there is something wrong with my friend’s child… what do I do?”

I always first ask the age of the child. If they say 2-4… I breathe and begin the spiel calmly.

If 5+, I cringe and get a bit rage-ish

EARLY INTERVENTION people.

Let me back up…

If you have a child with autism or any type of special needs and you are proactive… then you are ON.

You are ON all of the time. 24/7.

thinking, doing, investigating, pushing, crying, praising, persevering, nasty persistent. Yep, it is unrelenting… but you are ON and being ON is good.

It’s really good.

If you are in {pause} mode, you are doing none of the above. Nothing.

Pausing for a while to catch breath? Yes, fine.

I am talking about pausing for months that turn into years and chalking it up to be “nothing but a speech delay.”

Oh how people love to use this phrase.

Oh if I had a penny for every mother in {pause} mode that tells me “it’s just a speech delay.”

What a cop out!

I haven’t even gotten started… this is your wake up call.

This is for you. Give me the evil eye now and thank me later.

Okay, if your child is speech delayed, seldom exhibits eye contact, does not interact/engage with others and has many repetitive behaviors…. the list goes on… then it might be more than a “just a speech delay.”

How do you know? You don’t always. That is why you get an assessment.

Get one.

Who do I call???  Start with a licensed Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician.

Look it up. Google one in your area. They are the Gurus and can steer you straight.

“Oh, but I don’t want to talk about it and I don’t want others to talk about it.”

I promise you, people are already talking.  Tis true.

For the love…Do something.

I can say all of this because I know the {pause} button well.

We were once short-lived friends…. Hallelujah!

Get off the {pause} button because that button is debilitating. It is.

That button is preventing you from being proactive.

That button can be a form of child neglect.

Ouch, harsh.

Yep, tough love. You need it.

Make the call. Get on the list. Have a full assessment done.

Call me. I will talk to you. I will cry with you.

But I won’t say it’s okay to {Pause} for too long.

I will never say that.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

Photography by the famous Callie Shepherd at www.callieshepherd.com

Celebrating Autism: Waiting in Line

Happy New Year everyone…let’s get to work

I’m sitting here watching some NCAA football, the fire is on, the dog is asleep at my feet, nice glass of vino within arms distance…perfect scenario to blog!

I was going through the family computer and cleaning out files and documents that we don’t need.  My wife has a “William” folder with all sorts of documentation and notes and all that fun stuff.

In the file are notes from our 18-month legal battle with our insurance company, notes about what William was doing at certain ages, much of the stuff she used to write our book “Look At My Eyes”

I opened one document that described William at 2 years and 7 months of age–just before he was officially diagnosed with autism and our lives continued to change.

One entry said “has serious issues with patience.  Won’t stand in line, refuses to wait–flips out if he can’t have it now!”

So today as my wife was sick in bed with flu-like symptoms and the kids were getting cabin fever, I took them to the Children’s Museum (a HUGE staple in our weekend routine all year ’round)

They have amazing exhibits and the kids love to go there.  As with many families on the spectrum, we have our routine.  We get our tickets, we go to the gift shop, we say “hello” to Ms. Lisa, we take off our shoes and go down the Dyno-slide, then we go and do other things…but it always happens like that.

As William and his sister were going up-and-down on the slide I realized that William was very patiently waiting in line for his turn.

Kinda made me chuckle.

Another exhibit they love is some spinning mechanism–I don’t know what it is, you step on it, hold on and it spins you and you get all dizzy–kids love that stuff you know.

As usual, there was a line.  Immediately William said (in his broken-but getting better-communication skills)…”not your turn, wait in line…not your turn, wait in line…not your turn, wait in line”

And that’s what he did.  Over and over and over, he waited in line, was patient and  calm, took his turn, flapped a bit, got back in line

“Wait in line…it’s not your turn.”

So ironic that I found the report of almost 4+ years ago where my son was not willing or able to stand in line, be patient, wait for it…and here we are…not saying he’s destined for greatness–but HAVE HOPE PEOPLE…every year that passes we notice successes (sometimes big, sometimes small) and hurdles that he clears.

Way to go my son!  I am proud of you for learning to stand in line, wait your turn, be patient…

now you just need to teach your old man that patience thing…Happy New Years

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

We’re asking the WRONG questions when it comes to Autism!

Okay, here’s a dad’s rant about autism…enjoy

Recently my wife and I were interviewed for CBS 11 in Fort Worth/Dallas regarding the recent study that said 1 in 88 children are now diagnosed with some form of pervasive developmental disorder.

Mainly they wanted to ask about our feelings of the change in numbers (previously it was 1 in 100 children) and all that good stuff.

How I feel?  Dude…you should’ve asked me that 4 years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism…how I feel about a report that doesn’t really pertain to me or the state of my family?  I’m sad that numbers are increasing…I’m sad that not much SEEMS to be going on to help these numbers.

Other than that it’s just a report.  They can make numbers say just about anything.  Is there a problem?  YES.  But the story should not be in the numbers…it needs to be in other things.

WE’RE ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS when it comes to reports and autism and our children.

Soapbox #1 from Seth: I care but I really don’t care if the stats are 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10 children who are diagnosed on the spectrum…the fact is that they have IT or they have something else going on with them that is keeping them from being “typical” so instead of worrying about reports–why don’t we worry about how funding is so bad?

I love Texas.  I have lived in other countries and other states and I love Texas.  I have grown up here and I want to be here for as long as I live…but some times I want to SMACK! the state of Texas, politicians, law makers, people who decide funding.

Yes I know our public schools stink–they are only going to get worse btw.

If 1 in 88 children are on the spectrum…where is the funding for these children?

Why are we all up in arms about these reports…BUT not up in arms (as much) about the pathetic excuse states like the great state of Texas have for not funding research, education, training.

As I so eloquently stated in the TV interview…”The issue is not the report, the issue is What the Heck are We Going to do with these precious children when 1 in 88 of them are 18, 19, 20+ years old?”

Soapbox from Seth #2: According to the Harvard School of Public Health: “The cost of a lifetime of care for one person with autism is $3.2 million, mostly in lost productivity and adult care”

And yet where is our funding?  I recently read an article that stated how autism affects more children in the U.S. than diabetes, childhood AIDS, CP, TB, and a bunch of other ailments…I think even cancer in children…COMBINED.

What’s it going to take to get  the public’s attention beyond wearing a blue puzzle piece or being aware for a month in April?

We need to be asking these questions:

1. What are we doing TODAY to decrease 1 in 88 children?  What are we doing for our minority communities?  How are we reaching all Americans and informing them early signs of detection or intervention?

2. What are we doing about educating parents who are just now learning that their child is on the autism spectrum?

3. What are we doing about putting 1 in 88 into an educational environment to learn in their own unique way–NEWS FLASH…children on the spectrum aren’t dumb…they’re not worthless or useless or unable to integrate into typical society…we just need to learn to educate and reach them so they can maximize their potential

4. What are we doing to educate SOCIETY about how to interact with 1 in 88?

5. What kind of programs, therapies, training are we providing the 1 in 88 at an early age?  We can’t wait and hope that our public (or even private) schools will all of a sudden help our children as they start Kindergarten

6. How are we making it possible for all families to afford the proper therapy?

7. How are we training businesses and owners to employ, train and help make our 1 in 88 successful tax-paying citizens?

8. What about housing for the 1 in 88 when they reach their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s?

I could go on and on but my blood pressure is rising and I’m rambling.

It’s not about a report.  Yeah 1 in 88 sucks…so what then?

What are we prepared to do and when are people going to start listening?

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com