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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Monday, January 09, 2006

 

Parents and Therapists - A Vulnerable Partnership

As some of you know from reading my blog, I run my own in-house therapy team. Here in Ontario, I have not yet found an agency flexible or sensitive enough to meet my son's needs or work with me to approach Adam as an individual as opposed to just another boy with autism -- with a generalized, blanket approach to his therapy.

I've hired my own therapists, psychologists, SLP's, OT's.... all have been exceptional. There is, however, perils to these relationships. Typically, the therapists we hire to work with our children on various ABA and Floortime or RDI therapies are young, in their twenties, having come to this via a university posting, an ad, to make a little bit of extra money. Some go on and continue to work in the field as they discover a love of working with autistic children. Others are simply good at it, but so young that visions of having their own families supercede their loyalty.

This is just a harsh reality for families like ours. Right now, I am looking for another therapist as one of my excellent ones is pregnant and dreamily drifting through her days in happy anticipation. I don't hold it against her -- I understand it perfectly. But as a family with autism trying to work in these early years in preparation for full-time school, it leaves us feeling hostage. If you have a good therapist and she wants more money...guess what? Your'e going to pay it because your son's progress is dependent on her and there are so few good therapists out there. When you find someone you really like, you want to hang on to her. But I have to say that I feel abandoned and a little peeved at being left without their help in finding me a replacement. I've wanted to help them on in their career, paid them the money, and in the end, this is the harsh reality. People will come and go no matter how hard you try to keep them. Very few therapists that I've encountered are seeking their M.A.'s or Ph.D's in the field. They do not know yet if they want to stay committed to it.

This is my venting of the day. In the end, as parents, we are alone with this. There are days when I want to get peeved, but I can't. People will come and go -- in and out of Adam's life.

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