Saturday, May 16, 2009

Autism, Fredericton Trails and the Joy of Conor

I try to present a realistic, straight up, non-ideological picture of autism on this blog site. I understand the need of some persons with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Disorder to portray autism in a positive light. It is about their self esteem. They want to feel good about themselves autism and all. Unfortunately when those self validation efforts are carried out in media campaigns that all too often glorify autism, a neurological disorder with very serious challenges and deficits for many more severely affected by the disorder the public receives a distorted, unrealistic picture of autism disorders.

My son Conor, with Autistic Disorder, is one of the more severely affected. He does not function anywhere near his chronological age level. He has limited communication. He requires constant adult supervision ... for his safety. As the fictional television (Boston Legal) lawyer Denny Crane would say ... It's that simple.

My effort to be honest about Conor and his realities also leads me to the more pleasant part of painting the whole picture: the incredible Joy that Conor brings me every single day. Anyone who has visited this blog site from time to time knows that I love to post pictures of Conor on the Fredericton trail system. I love a lot about life in Fredericton but in particular I love the trail system which is literally seconds from our door.

The night after our somewhat strenuous Bridge Walk adventure Conor and Dad headed out for a more leisurely walk on the North Riverfront Trail down to the Circle Place, the Lawrence Amphitheater. It was windy, very windy but the wind only added to the fun as we made our way down the trail.

All part of the Joy of Conor.

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1 comment:

Penny said...

I enjoy seeing your pictures of Conor and the trails. He must have been on my mind last night, because I dreamed I met him on a park bench. I wish we had a light house to walk by on our walks! You have some real beauty to enjoy on your walks!

RDI(r) really helped with our daughter's safety issues. She was a "bolter" with her own agenda. Abandoning a behavioral approach for a developmental one made *huge* differences for all of us. Actually, we didn't abandon the approach -- it abandoned us. I wouldn't have given it up for all the money in the world. Our home program fell apart when therapists left for college and one for a better job at a clinic, all at the same time. RDI(r) was there, and I thought I'd try it for a few months until I found and hired new therapists to get our behavioral program back on track. RDI(r) was so powerful, so amazing, that we never went back.