Monday, April 07, 2014

Autism Understanding & Acceptance 2014 Day 8: Self-Advocates, "Autistics" that show us the way

What would we understand about what life is like for a person with Autism or Asperger's syndrome without these two individuals?  Temple Grandin, PhD (the first picture above) and Steven Shore, EdD (second picture) both have taught me so much about living life with autism.  Read anything written by these two brilliant individuals and you are given a glimpse into two truly incredible minds.  I have had the great honor to hear both of these inspiring people at conferences and workshops, and I attribute any understanding that I have of life with autism to these two people.

Temple Grandin's story is pretty well known now, thanks to the HBO film "Temple Grandin", which starred Claire Danes as a young Temple.  If you have not seen it, DO SO.  Temple went from being non-verbal and displaying some of the most challenging behaviors that go along with autism to earning her PhD and becoming the most prominent self-advocate in the autism world.  She is also probably our biggest hero, and I know I speak for many parents that look to her for inspiration as to what our children could be.

Stephen Shore has completely opened my eyes to the world of those with Asperger's syndrome (on the Autism Spectrum).  He has been particularly helpful in learning about the pros & cons of disclosure of a diagnosis (when to do so, and when NOT to), as well as Sensory Integration Disorder.

When I think on what has been helpful to me on this journey, the life experiences, stories and explanations these two have shared have been invaluable.  I am so very thankful for their voices.

No comments: