I showed Billy Ray’s support staff a video that I like because it is proof that all the documentation, schedules and visuals we do work and can make a difference in the life of a person with Autism and various special needs. I love that video done by Dan Hobbs called Gentle Teaching (available at http://www.nau.edu/ihd/positive/vids/video.html) because it gives me hope. I am in no way associated with the Positive Behavior Support Program at the Northern Arizona University but I wanted to give you that link. Mr. Hobbs shared the story of Amanda and his involvement in helping achieve her mother’s dream for Amanda
I recently read Eustacia Cutler’s book A Thorn in My Pocket (Future Horizons 2004) about her life as Temple Grandin’s mother. In case you don’t know, Temple Grandin, Ph.D. is a well known expert in Autism. She has authored numerous books including, but not limited to, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Thinking in Pictures. Ms. Cutler struggled to help her daughter find her way despite a earlier time when services were not so prevalent. Dr. Grandin has been called a national treasure because for the first time society has been able to understand Autism from someone who experiences.
I have been devouring the writings of Sue Rubin recently. I just read where she said that facilitative communication was the key to her success and the key to success at facilitative communication was her mother’s persistence.
The above-referenced mother they kept on struggling. Not all parents do that for years on end to reach their best potential. Parents who do stay with the task make a major difference in their child’s life. You might say behind every successful disabled person is a parent with commitment.
Peggy Lou Morgan