Today there was lots of chatter today in the public radio and television sphere about autism. Diane Rehm hosted a segment in the second hour of her show, based in large part on the piece that's running on public television right now.
As I was listening today, I thought a lot about how much the world has changed for youngsters with autism and their families in the past 20 years. One of the guests even helped bridge that gap in discussing her 16-year-old with autism a little.
Her son was diagnosed when he was 2. That seemed like such a luxury to me. Two years of anguish we would have been spared if we'd gotten a diagnosis that much sooner.
And as I was listening, I thought about how I'd made a pitch to her shows producers -- let us talk about early intervention and behavioral treatments, let us show you that they work. Then, like most people might feel, I wasn't surprised my pitch was passed by, possibly even ignored. Who am I to think I had something to offer this greater conversation, with these incredibly smart knowledgeable people on air right now? Every once in a while they bring up something I didn't know -- proof I'm an imposter.
Then, they'll blow right by a topic -- the upcoming cohort of adults with autism and how are we to support them in having full, productive lives -- just open the door and say, "see, we've got a problem coming," without articulating that problem in any sort of way.
I have an inkling of how to articulate that. That has been part of this blog from the beginning ... just feeling my way through the darkness. We weren't completely driven off the cliff, but it was close.
I'll try to keep that in mind with the upcoming training I'm giving May 7 in Richardson at the Region 10 Education Service Center. I'm not an expert on what's new and great for the young set. But I can tell you what you will need in the future -- and how to make the best use of your precious time and resources on the way to the future.
And I hope the national conversation goes a little further -- and real soon -- about articulating what we need to do for this cohort.