Monday, April 10, 2006

Ali Edwards & Autism

I mentioned in my earlier post that I want to try something new here on my blog. I thought it would be fun to have a weekly theme to focus on Monday - Friday and then I will use the weekends for more random posts. There will still be a lot of variation each day because it depends on what is happening in my life, and what I am currently scrapping. I'll just try it for a few weeks and see how it goes. After all, it's my blog and I want it to be fun for me and for my readers!

Light Bulb

So the theme this week is Ali Edwards - I guess more like a featured artist really. We study the masters of art in school like da Vinci, Monet, and Van Gogh, why not study the "greats" in the scrapbooking world? Ali Edwards is the perfect starting point for me because I feel as if I share a special bond with her. We've never met, and we probably never will but I feel a connection with her because her son has autism.

I'm almost a decade ahead of her in the autism thing - my son was diagnosed in 1996 and he is now 12 years old. Her sweet Simon is only 3 (I think) and was just diagnosed last year.

She is very open about their life with autism on her blog and I admire her so much for that. She has a huge audience and she is making a tremendous difference in autism awareness just by sharing a little bit of their personal story with others. If you don't already read her blog, I would encourage you to add it to your list of "must reads."

Some of her recent posts have been a little difficult for me to get through because it is almost like reading my own personal journal entries. On the other hand, I know there are great differences as well. In fact, that is one idea I would love to get across to people... that people with autism are not "all the same." In fact, there is such a wide range in how autism is manifested that it really makes it a confusing thing to explain to others. Ali is doing a good job on her blog right now posting some good links and that will be a great help to others in furthering understanding of autism related disorders.

This brings me to a little more of my own story. I've tried to share my experiences through newsletters and my website for years now. In 1996, there were about 3 books on autism that were easy to find. The literal explosion in the autism population began in about 1991 at the earliest - my son was at the beginning of this curve. I forged ahead and spent years researching and even started writing a book. I have now changed my focus for many reasons. I still believe very strongly in helping others understand autism, but the time has come for me to put my energies elsewhere.

I have homeschooled my son before because of educational difficulties. I am going to start homeschooling him again full time after this school year. Before it was forced upon us - now it is a choice. A choice we are making because we feel that it will give him the very best outcome in his life. He has come so far, I want to make sure that he keeps on progressing.

So in honor of Autism Awareness Month and as part of today's topic, I thought I would share this 2 page layout with you. It is very dear to my heart and my son has given his permission to share this with others. I have posted this layout on 2Peas if you want to read more about it.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of our story here and I hope you will take some time and visit some of the links on my autism pages and on Ali's blog.

Obviously, there's a whole lot more to Ali than autism - so I have lots to blog about this week. Hope you will join me!


Katie the Scrapbook Lady



Ali said...

Thank you Katie :)

Queue_t said...

Thank you Katie

I too have a wonderful step son who has autism, he is a joy in my life and I have learned a termendous amount about him and myself over the years, he is now 14 but I have known him for nearly 10 yrs now!

I read and gleen from your blogs and writings and look for things here everyday to help me explain to others sometimes why my lovley boy will not respond to them directly, why his eyes don't make the regular contact they expect from a boy " his age", I love your articles and have found tremendouse confort in your words.

Tomorrow I will be again called upon to help another child who has come into my life and those of my Children as well, who has autism as well, he is different than our son, but he needs his village " he is in our boy scout troop" He is a sweet boy with a great smile and funny silly laugh. He will be transitioning to high school - Two of my boys go to the same school- and his mother has setup a future planning meeting. she has invited me, my sons- both experienced with her son and our son and autism to participate with school educators, her family and friends of her son to help him get the most in his future! a very exciting time for us all.

So again thank you Katie, you have given me words and concepts and understanding to help this boy and his family as well as help me communicate about my step son and his uniqueness.


p.s. sorry this is so long! am coping it to my blog as well.