True Champions Asperger's Syndrome: Managing Asperger's (Part 4 of 4) | HealthiNation

Uploaded by HealthiNation on 23.04.2012

Believe we're first in baseball, we were introduced through Lou Gherig's disease. Looked at that and said wow, one of the greatest
baseball players died of this and nobody talks about it and so we began to educate people
and raise money. Five years later I'm diagnosed with a malignant
melanoma, you know, I'm raising money for ASL, I'm raising awareness for melanoma but
when it came to Grant, I have to tell it's one thing to talk about yourself and it's
another thing to talk about your child, so it really was a process for me to be able
to talk about him but it really came down to I want people to treat him with dignity.
A lot of people who have children with Asperger's have been living very isolated lives, because
people don't understand and they judge and they give all this unwanted advice. There's
no medication that can change it. There's no surgery that can change it. They are who
they are and they should be proud of who they are.
I think the medical community is doing a great job of bringing awareness. The only problem
is there's no drugs and there's no surgery, so it really is about behavior modification
and teaching kids the tools and the necessity that they need to blend in life. I hope the
biggest thing that will happen that they will be diagnosed earlier. You think back twenty
years ago to the kids who were just pushed away or pushed into that special-ed group
because they didn't learn like everybody else, and the minds that were probably wasted.
For me, the best resource has been the Asperger's Association and they send there and so they
know what you're going through, they know the kind of strategies that work, they know
how frustrating it can be for you, so they know how to talk to you, they know how to
teach you to be the parent that that child needs. Sometimes you get up and I get him
ready for school and he goes out the door and i'm like, I say to him, t hank you so
much, you just really had a great morning, and t here are some days where I could crawl
right back in bed. Sharing that and getting help; for yourself, having girlfriends to
be able to laugh about it. Communication with your souse, if you have a spouse is so important.
I just think that when you realize you're not alone, it makes the journey much more
tolerable. You know that somebody understands what you're going through and I think that's
a big part of why I wrote the book. If anybody knows me and my friends all can attest to
this, when they said you were going to write a book, I almost had to pick my husband up
off the floor. The book is written out of love. I need people to understand that nothing
that Grant does is malicious, is done out of disrespect. I remember what it was like
when I meet these parents that you know sometimes when I go to book signings, they're the
ones walking up and and I say, you are going to be okay because that's what I wanted
somebody to say to me. You're going to be okay, they're going to be okay and it makes
a huge difference. I think the biggest role that I want in creating awareness to make
sure that my son is treated with dignity and that many people understand the syndrome so
that they can help them to be the best kind of person that he can be.