Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Autism Solutions Center, a great cause!

Friends and families in and of autism, I have something very special to talk to you about today. I want to talk to you about an amazing woman and her goal to help autism families across the nation. It all started in Cordova, Tennessee where Laura Corby started the Autism Solution Center.

What is the Autism Solution Center? Well, my first suggestion is that you take an online trip to autismsolutioncenter.com. Next I will tell you that it’s a place that offers no cost assistance to autism families and autistics in general. Then I offer you a quote from the site:

"AUTISM IS TREATABLE! At the Autism Solution Center, Inc. (ASC), our goal is to make sure that this phrase becomes a well-known fact. We are determined to make sure every individual with an autism spectrum disorder has access to the treatments, interventions and assistance needed to provide them with the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. We are passionate in our role as treatment facility, advocate, and educator. We are dedicated to providing NO COST, critically necessary, early intervention and life-long services to those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s), and support and services to their families and caretakers. We strive to educate our communities about all aspects of autism and its treatability."

Laura’s long term goal is to put a center like this, minimum of one, in every state. The ASC offers assistance like I haven’t seen before from a non-profit agency, especially for autism. Unfortunately, every dream has it’s hurdles. Like any non-profit, it needs funding and sponsors. The ASC is a registered non-profit organization and all donation information can be found on their web page.

True, they are located in the Memphis area, but think of this, enough donations could see the full scale goal come to life. I hope that all of you will visit this website and donate even one dollar to help this cause. Don’t let a noble program like this go under. Help it keep going and better yet, help it reach your area. You can reach Laura Corby through her website via phone or email.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meds for your child? What you need to know.

The decision to put a child on medication is never a light one. I can count many a parent who has said to me, “ I will never put my child on medication”. There is always some reason behind their strong feelings and usually it involves the fear that they will lose the person their child really is. They don’t want their child to be a zombie or controlled in “that way”.

Because of that, I find it bears repeating ad nauseam: The purpose of a medication is NOT to control your child. The purpose of a medication is to help a child control him or herself. If your child is doing well without medication, that is wonderful. However, I have had more than one parent, who gave me an anti-medication lecture trying to use my son as an example. They have actually pointed to him and said, “See? He’s doing fine right now”. This is a dead point to make because he takes his medications every single day. That means, at the exact time they pointed at him, he was under the effects of his medication. Were he not, I guarantee you “okay” would not have escaped their lips. Naturally some have given me the example of how well their own child is doing.

You cannot take example of how other peoples children are doing, with or without as concrete example of how your child will do. You must do the homework and research for yourself. That being said, here is what you need to know about applying medications to your child.

Trial and Error: Getting the right results from medications with your child will always, always, always be result of trial and error. There are no guaranteed results that will occur in every single child who tries any given medication. That goes for adults as well, for anyone who is going to start medications for disorders.

Time and Patience: Results don’t happen overnight, period. To gauge full effects of any med you may have to administer them for at least a week and up to a month. During that time, you will have to watch for side effects and give them time to either clear up, or show you that your child can’t use that medication. You will have to see how long the level of the med has a proper effect and talk to the doctor about whether or not to increase dosage.

Know your meds!: Read about them, research them, and know them inside and out. How long before you see results? What are the side effects? If they are wrong for your child, can you stop them cold turkey, or do you have wean them off? You need to know all these things for any form of medicating you intend to do with your child.

Don’t cut out the doctor: I don’t care what you are giving your child, over the counter or prescribed. Especially if you are using prescriptions and plan to add other chemicals from “over the counter”, you need to have a doctor on board to advise you on what those extras could do mixed with things your child is already taking. Things like Melatonin, food additives, and supplements can interact with existing medications and bring out undesired effects. Keep your doctor on board and close to what you are doing. Don’t hesitate to call and bug your doctors office with questions and make sure to do research.

No, medication is not for everyone but it is necessary for some. Not only should we not judge others for their use of medications (whether they do or don’t), we should educate ourselves before we do. Considering your child for medication? Get educated and know the territory. Remember that you are your childs best and most important advocate.