The short answer is yes. With our autistic kids or family members, everybody understands that we MUST be the advocate for our kids and as a result, we have to ask a lot to get what he/she needs to be successful. We have to push and at times pry, to simply obtain the basic things that can help them and for many of us that can be very frustrating. However, the opposite is also true where we can have a tremendous reward by simply opening our mouths and asking for help, to some ends even more than what we expected. Let me give you an example.
Our boy Kian recently had an IEP with the school back in January. During this IEP, we asked about how technology could help him and whether he would be able to use these tools in the classroom in a way that would not distract other kids. The fact is, asking that question opened up the thought process of one of his great teachers that led to him being given the gift of an Apple iPad to use and keep. Simply asking for their help and advice, led to a wonderful gift that has proven to be an outstanding tool for many autistic kids across the world, a gift that was better than what we could have expected.
The second example actually took place in that same meeting. To set the stage, we used a few minutes of this time to explain and present our idea for F.A.A.S.T. and get their feedback on what they feel would be beneficial to not only Kian, but to other kids who may be on the spectrum and educators as well. We felt that had we had the opportunity to present the idea in a way that was a win/win, the benefit could be outstanding. Well, we were right! The school’s principal was very excited as were the teachers involved, which led us to the opportunity to present our idea to the School District Special Education Administrators, which led back to the school and the principal offering to put our information in the school newsletter. Simply having the support of the school is a big win for us and we are extremely grateful that they too see the benefit of what we are trying to accomplish and we are thrilled and humbled for that support. However, we cannot say that any of this would have happened, had we not simply opened our mouth. We asked for help and much more came about that we could have asked for. What a tremendous response this support has been and all because we simply asked for help for a worthy cause.