My Christmas wish and Autism
Christmas wish for Autism
A Christmas wish
The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year as it reminds us of the importance of family and the joys in giving and extending goodwill and cheer to others in observance of the birth of baby Jesus. We are hopeful at this time of year and we thank the lord for all we've been blessed with in our lives. As we celebrate the joyous holiday we are reminded of the three most important things we should always live by in our lives which are faith, hope and charity.
As I reflect on all the things in my life that I am grateful for I sometimes also reflect on what I wish I could do better to help my son who lives with tremendous courage as he faces his condition of autism each and every day. He has many challenges that we don't understand as we are not living with it like he is. We are witnesses to it and it does affect us as we want to do all we can for our son to help and guide him but we are not always sure how best to help him as he has had so many struggles through the years and continues to as he grows so we must rely on the expertise of doctors, therapists, teachers and other trained professionals to help our son and to also gain a better understanding of his condition so we can do all we can to assist him as he encounters difficulties.
We expect the absolute best from our son and we don't want to make concessions as a result of his condition but the painful reality is that our son is indeed struggling and we are now awaiting word on his next school to attend as the current school he has been attending is unable to meet his needs and he has been suspended due to his inconsistencies with his behavior in the classroom. He has these difficult struggles with his behavior and is prone to meltdowns that he seems to have no control over when he is overwhelmed and he acts out and is continually getting in trouble for it. It really breaks my heart to see him with such struggles and as we try to help him we sometimes feel helpless as we realize we can not always be there with him. We have to have trust in others as we send our son to school but it seems to not be working right now as we try to find the appropriate setting for him.
If I could have one wish this Christmas season it would be to find the right school for my son and to restore his confidence and self esteem. He is a very bright boy and has so much potential but the fact that he has been struggling in school with behavior and has been absent on many occasions he is losing structure and consistency and is alone more than he should be which is contributing to his loss of confidence and self esteem. Although he is still a kid it is very important that he has uniformity and consistency with his education and a school that will allow him to grow and prosper. I would believe that with the continual rise in autism that schools would be more equipped to handle kids on the autistic spectrum but with a depressed economy and cutbacks it seems schools are affected and are lacking the financial resources and therefore are unable to meet these additional demands placed on them.
If I could walk with my son and provide him the necessary protection he needs to help him get through the school day I would but it is not possible so we find ourselves in this situation where our son is now without a school due to his extreme meltdowns and tantrums. We all are working on finding him a proper school but it seems there is so much bureaucracy we have to deal with and we also have to have formal evaluations and approval which I completely understand.
Sometimes I wonder if my son had a dog specifically trained to help autistic children who have extreme tantrums and epileptic seizures if that would help him. I believe given the circumstances of his difficulties and his continual suspensions from school that a trained dog would help him in many ways. We would need to find a program that would help my son be considered for such a trained dog companion as he should qualify due to his condition. We would also need to find a school that would provide accommodations for a child who needs such assistance. Our son does not have a trained dog but I feel it would be very beneficial for him and I would appreciate if anyone who knows more about it to provide me more information so I could help my son become better acclimated to school and his surroundings and in helping him with his autism and epilepsy.
As the new year approaches we will have to find a new school for our son and try our best to give him the necessary support and encouragement he needs to help him obtain an education and to help him develop, grow, mature and feel good about himself. It is our mission to do all we can for our son and advocate for him and address all his needs and find opportunities for him and hopefully a trained dog that can help him and protect him when we are not available to do so. We also trust that he knows how to protect himself and to use proper judgement but it is a concern due to his autistic episodes and epileptic seizures which he apparently has no control over. I am always worried for my son as I leave him to attend to my responsibilities and he is always on my mind. I would love to help him be his absolute best and to have peace of mind today and always.
Edward D. Iannielli III
Matty's Christmas 2010
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