Guest post (by the author)
Educating and bringing awareness about raising a child on the autism spectrum became a goal of mine when I saw how much my daughter; Heather improved medically, educationally and developmentally with the right supports. My services evolved over a number of years because I wanted to help other families but be considerate of Heather’s privacy.
I didn’t write Coming Through the Fog without support and encouragement from Heather. We discussed it and I respected her boundaries. For example I refer to a number of surgeries Heather had growing up, but have not gone into any further detail. Heather is a remarkable young lady and she sees and understands the importance of sharing her journey through autism. She has great compassion for others and started having classmates call me for help while she was still in high school.
Ten years ago I started helping families advocate for educational services. Eight years ago, I decided to train and certify in CranioSacral Therapy, (CST) so there would be no lapse of therapy if insurance stopped covering it when Heather turned 18. Many of the families I was advocating for started asking for CST services so I opened my first office and offered CST, autism education and advocacy services.
I just published Coming Through the Fog in February 2013. I felt the timing was right; Heather had successfully graduated high school, completed a technical school program, could drive, work and had purchased her own home. With Heather’s blessing and encouragement I started telling her story. She has even joined me on a couple speaking engagements. My proud Momma moment was when she spoke to a committee for the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. In her own words she told what it was like to come through the fog and be able to tell them her story. She told how just a few short years previously she never could have. Her wish was for the state not to cut autism funding so other children on the spectrum could one day tell their stories.
I did not set out to find holistic healers. Though Heather did not get diagnosed until almost 13 we had spent 8 years working with mental health providers. Heather had tried a variety of traditional pharmaceutical recommendations that didn’t work and the increased recommendations since the diagnosis were making the situation worse not better. The red flag for me was she was either in a comatose state or it was as if I had not given her anything. It was clear this was not the correct protocol yet if I questioned it. the doctors just prescribed more or different medications. The other deciding factor was a neurologist recommendation to “poke around in Heather’s brain and see if there was something they could do about her 40 seizures a day.
Through networking across the country with other parents raising children on the spectrum I kept hearing about the Sensory Diet, (now called Sensory Integration Therapy,) CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and the Diet (now called Bio-Medical Therapies.) Alternative therapies? What we know about Sensory Processing Disorder started with findings from occupational therapist Jean Ayers in 1944. For CranioSacral Therapy take a look at the results from the Upledger Institute. Dr. John Upledger opened his autism clinic in 1985 and has scientifically proven the existence of the craniosacral system as well as the benefits of facilitating CranioSacral Therapy. The late Doctor Bernard Rimland founded the Autism Research Institute (ARI) in 1967 touting diet and chemical makeup and their connection with autism. Now known as Bio Medical Therapies the ARI is still providing services to children affected by autism today.
The problem is when the medical domain can’t do a double blind study with a placebo and a control group they call it alternative and or claim it’s not science based. I beg to differ with anyone who says this about these therapies.
Quite honestly these therapeutic approaches were the only ones that made sense to me. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability, having to do with the brain and brain development. Sensory Processing Disorders is about how a specific brain functions and Sensory Integration therapy improves that function. CranioSacral Therapy acts to improve brain function, sensory motor and mental dysfunction and Bio-Medical Therapies makes sure the brain has the chemical foundation it needs to grow and develop appropriately. This multidisciplinary approach was hugely successful; it opened the doors to Heathers potential. How could I not share this?
Author Coming Through the Fog
A mother tells the journey of her daughter’s recovery from Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder to Functioning Recovery and independent living, giving tips to parents on how to navigate the medical and educational domain. This story is an example of the unique obstacles facing a parent raising a child with Autism. The challenges they face getting supports. What is Sensory Processing Disorder, CranioSacral Therapy and Bio-Medical Therapy, and what roles they play on the road to Functioning Recovery and independent living? See actual projective trials pertaining to sensory supports. Is educational discrimination the reason there is difficulty getting help in school? As this story unfolds it provides useful tips to other parents to help them on their journey with their child. This story is notable because this mother’s daughter was successful overcoming numerous obstacles while providing useful tools, inspiration and hope to others.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE
This journey begins with a mother’s love for her daughter. After learning her daughter was on the Autism Spectrum Tami began to tirelessly educate herself in the sciences of: Behavioral Health, Child Psychology, Human Anatomy, Occupational Health, Pharmacology and Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has been a parent advocate for her daughter since 1997.
In 2002, as her knowledge and passion grew, Tami began reaching out to other families in need of help. In 2005, Tami founded the Rock County Autism Support Group and she is the community resource liaison for the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorders) Parent Connections Support Group of Rock County and the surrounding areas. Since 2005, Tami has been State and National Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and in 2013 she certified in CranioSacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute in Florida.
Tami currently has two offices where she facilitates CranioSacral Therapy. Approximately 38% of her clientele are children, teenagers and young adults on the Autism Spectrum or with other neuro-developmental delays. When asked to lecture, Tami uses her personal experience, extensive knowledge, and dedication to help others learn about and understand the medical and educational aspects of Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders and SPD.
You can view his website at http://www.comingthroughthefog.com.
His latest book is the autism awareness book, Coming Through the Fog.
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