Here is the video "Thank you Stuart - WORLD WIDE!" which is quite the tribute to a great advocate! Stuart, you have been an inspiration to so many, you deserve this recognition!
A little over a month ago, I received an e-mail that to be honest I thought was spam. At first glance, I tried to figure out how this made it through the spam blocker and I put it to the side. A few days later, I noticed a couple of the sites that we follow had links the same information and I quickly realized that maybe it wasn't spam afterall. Little did I know that I was about to have 'Perma-Grin" for weeks to come knowing what our "little project" had accomplished.
Looking at the website, I quickly reflected back to just how fortunate we are to have this wonderful opportunity to "Beat our drum" for autism. As just a couple of parents, it is an honor for us to talk with people from all over the world, virtually at least, about their challenges with autism. I have had the opportunity to be introduced to a wonderful advocate in Stuart Duncan, or Stuart Duncan - A Father's Point of View and learn about the dedication that is needed to continue to find news stories, good and bad, that help bridge the gap to all our thoughts and feelings about the struggles of our loved ones. At the end of the day, it is a gift to us to be able to advocate for autism.
When all is said and done, I turn old and grey, I feel great about what we have been able to accomplish as a community. I love the fact that we have social media and the Internet to be able to share our stories and give each other hope for our loved ones. It's simply awesome!
But one thing I want to make perfectly clear, all of this could not be accomplished with all of you. To the hundres of people who follow our Facebook page, all of you that check in on our website and those who e-mail and call us now and again, we could not have done this without you
For those of you who know me personally, you know that I work on the local military installation here in Utah. Each morning I go on base there are 100% ID checks, for obvious reasons. In what I liken to the Indianapolis 500, or simply put, the rush to get on base, I get a kick out of watching the young airman checking badges, car by car, with the occasional “attention and solute” they make to a senior officer. Call me geeky, but I just think it’s cool.
There are those few occasions that I’ll be coming on base a little later, due to a class or a meeting I need to attend, and I’ll hear the sounds of Reveille playing then everything stops at 07:30 sharp. Cars pull to the side of the road, the airman in uniform turn and solute at attention and nothing else matters for that short time. I think this is really cool as well.
Well, many of my readers may be asking the question, “what does this have to do with autism?” Well, it’s all about routine. As you may know, the military is about routine. You have certain things you have to do at a certain time, a certain way and do it right. At least for our family, routines are very important. Mess with a routine; we throw our little boy for a loop that causes discomfort, anxiety and the occasional meltdown. It also results in questions like “how many things do we need to get from the store? or “how long are we going to be here?”. For some autistic kids (or adults for that matter), routines are crucial to their happiness and comfort in their worlds. As parents, we try to keep things routine as much as possible, then brace for those times when the routine is simply not possible. We also mentally prepare ourselves as much as possible for the meltdowns that are likely to arise from this break in routine.
Just as in the military, the routine is expected; we should remember that our autistic kids or loved ones may also expect a routine. In our house, it is often the meals are the same; the timing of their days needs to be close, etc. to keep us all comfortable. Should we as parents expect a perfectly orchestrated day, each and every day, the obvious answer is not at all, but it is important for us to understand when the routine has changed, it is much more discomforting to our autistic loved ones than it is on us.
Just a couple parents on a mission to help support families of autism and Asperger's find the resources they need for a successful life.