Sunday, April 1, 2007

About Me

Updated October 2015

CONTACT ME: busterfoofoo@gmail.com

NOTE: My websites include a picture of me and Leo. These are not actual pictures of us. For privacy, I purchased photos resembling us (we are both blonde/blue eyed) for the purpose of filling the empty picture box.

I am a parent of Leo, a recovered 17 year old boy that's a junior in high school. We live in the beautiful North West with my husband and daughter.

I am a parent who has been there and have experience to share. My goal is to spread current information, treatment options, hope, and ideas to other parents. I published an Autism Advice Book this summer (see home page for more info).   I have had the opportunity to talk to so many parents over the years, and publish several articles in Autism magazines, other magazines and also contributed to two books.

Once my child was diagnosed in 2000, I had to document my son's condition. Suddenly, I was writing regularly, documenting Leo’s behaviors, writing little anecdotes and examples. Every day, late at night, I'd rehash the day. So much was at stake. I had to turn myself inside-out and get it right and get it all. The quality of the feedback from evaluators and providers depended on it. I needed direction. I needed perfect goals, perfect recommendations. I needed to know EXACTLY what was going on. The better job I did, the better job they could do.

In my former life, I had a career in advertising, and had planned on building a second career in Physical Therapy as a parent. Ironically, my courses up to Leo's birth, helped us so much. All plans went out the window as they do. Instead, I work hard every day as a parent. My husband works very hard so I don’t have to “work”.

In 2008,  I suspended my homeopathy studies and quit my job to take care of my younger daughter,whom was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Fortunately the silver lining to all that I've learned to advocate for my son helped my daughter.  Today, she is in remission, and has now joined her big brother as a freshman in high school.

Like a recovered alcoholic, my family will always bear the mark of Autism. The disabling parts of this disability, not the unique person that he is due to his wiring. It has changed us forever, bringing out the best and worst, and made us who we are today.

I continue to help new parents in my community and help others online. I will never turn my back to Autism. I am committed to these children. After all, Leo is one of them. Publicly,I must remain anonymous (the names here are pseudonyms) in order to protect my son from discrimination and protect my family from those that dislike us too much.

Does this mean I hate Autism? Does this mean I am a cure-bie? That I despise the countless thousands of children and people out there?

NO. What I can't stand is this: ASD kids not getting the right therapy and supports.

Autism is part of what made my son who he is. It is part of him, and I love him madly. I do not want to change who he is, only help him. Chronic anxiety and living in chaos were some of the byproducts of my son’s Autism. These obstacles to my son’s well-being was what needed changing, not the essence of who he is.

Whether you're a LF, HF, Recover-ie, Cur-bie, anti-therapy, pro-ABA, anti-ABA, Mercury Mom, or one of the many other factions out there - let's unite! We are all equal and deserve to be heard and have our children be supported. We all have the same struggles. And honestly, we only have each other.

While our kids may function on different parts of the Autism spectrum, what unites us all is the love we feel for them, and the deepest desire in every parent that their child can enter to succeed in life. For those of us parents whose child may be progressing at a quicker pace, and especially for those of us whose child has recovered, the journey may seem easier to the outsider – even an ‘outsider’ within the Autism community – but it’s not. Let that be an understanding that unites us, not divides us. We all need to be supported.

I really like helping other parents, so feel free to ask me anything by email. It would be an honor. My email: busterfoofoo@gmail.com.