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« Heroes of Autism - Pt. 1 | Main | Heroes of Autism - Pt. 3 »

September 30, 2008


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Margie Oomen

I really like Peter's very practical approach to this but I am not sure that I agree that shopping in Walmart should be considered an essential life skill or swiping a credit card. Do we need to turn every child into a responsible little consumer? I think finding healthy nutritious food ( maybe even growing your own) , learning how to safely prepare it and share it with family and friends would be more practical skills . Did anyone speak of nature therapy at your conference? I can't help but feel a little concern for this statement "My irrational and innate distrust of doctors and drugs and the medical establishment ". Obviously it was a doctor , hospital and a drug ( penicillin I imagine) that saved your life and future health back in the 60's when you had rheumatic fever. Some of us are actually really nice people if you get to know us .


Hi William - I am here through Margie and also through Elsita's blog and am have been reading some of your older posts too.

I am touched by the deep love and care that you and Elsa so clearly display through your blogs for your beautiful children. I love that you do not hide the hard work that is involved in caring for a child with autism.

I felt that the point of Peter's Walmart story was not so much to teach a child with autism how to shop (though the practical side of ME thinks this is a good thing!!) but that there is more than one way of looking at our world. If more of us were to rock quietly on the spot who knows what magic might happen.

Look forward to reading more of your posts on all your varied interests.


Thanks for sharing all of this, William. I love the stuff from Peter Gerhardt, especially the empowering message of focusing on what you CAN do instead of what you CAN'T. That is something that we should ALL try to do!

My son is in a co-op preschool (meaning the parents all work there one day each week). Every week the teachers have us try a parenting technique both at school and at home. Our last one was, "State suggestions and directions in a positive rather than negative form." The teacher told us that if we do that all of the time, not just with our kids, we'll start to feel more positive about life in general. It works great with little kids. They are so happy when you say, "You may pour that out in the sink instead of on the floor," instead of "don't pour that on the floor!" I think that is the same CAN versus CAN'T attitude, and that you and Elsa are figuring out your CANs by educating yourselves so thoroughly about autism. Bravo!

Gerhardt's "one in a million" quote reminded me of a joke my brothers and I used to say to each other a few years ago when we all lived in Manhattan. We'd say, "You're one in a million, kid... that means there are 11 people here exactly like you!"

I'm looking forward to more heroes.


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