Autism Parenting Magazine Issue 74 (Member's Dashboard) - Page 13

PERSONAL NARRATIVE for anybody to automatically equate any type of therapy to abuse is absurdly unfair at best. As long as we always consider the specific natures of our children, we can stay on track and do right by them. Operating within this mindset, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to create a better life for my boys. I be- lieve in autism parents. There’s nobody who knows their children better or cares for their children more, and so, there’s nobody more capable of steering the ship. It’s their family’s unique experiences that will guide them. They may not always know what to do, but there’s nobody more capable of figuring it out. That’s where I find myself, and acknowledging my lack of knowledge is the perfect starting point. It’s tempting for humans to think they have the an- swers. But when you think about it, that’s impossible. Are we so full of ourselves that we think we’re the final products of evolution and innovation? Do we know enough to make grand statements on autism with any certainty? I always remind myself to take a giant step back and look at the big picture. Step way back. Doing so can make the little disagreements within the autism community seem silly and unproductive. Our understanding of the brain is in its infancy. Sci- ence and technology will inevitably take us places we can’t fathom. Earlier, I mentioned how advances in technology have completely overhauled our ways of engaging with those on the spectrum. Fifteen measly years ago the Internet wasn’t developed to the point of providing people with autism a platform. There were no personal tablets giving the masses a reason- ably accessible communication device they could take with them everywhere. Fifteen teeny tiny years. What will the world be like in another fifteen years? What about one hundred years from now, or longer? Conceding our lack of knowledge here can either scare us or present us with opportunities for serious opti- mism. The world may not be ideal for an autistic wired brain right now, particularly for those who are lower functioning. Yet we still observe those on the spectrum displaying enthusiasm and happiness when engaged in activities that suit them. If we consider happiness a key measure in living fulfilling lives, who’s to say we won’t see advancements that begin to exponential- ly improve our understanding and engagement with people with autism. It seems pretty likely to happen. To some, this could all have just been barely organized ramblings. To me, it’s a mentality that provides a foun- dation on which I can build a tower of autism under- standing that won’t crumble when I replace a piece here or there. My entire life, the world has been teach- ing me that being unsure of myself or changing my mind is a show of weakness. At this point, I’m quite sure it’s the opposite. Flexibility of opinion and open-mind- edness are qualities that can take the autism commu- nity where it needs to be. That’s why you won’t get any concrete answers from me. I’m just a dad trying to fig- ure things out. I know nothing, and it’s fantastic. Luke Vincent is a proud father of two boys with au- tism and the creator of “Vincentville,” a YouTube channel creating a community of autism support and awareness through entertainment. Find him and his family on social media. Facebook: www.facebook.com/vincentvillevlogs Instagram: www.instagram.com/vincentvillevlogs YouTube: www.youtube.com/vincentville www.aikoandegor.org, facebook.com/aikoandegor, @aikoandegor • Aiko & Egor: Animation 4 Autism is a tablet and smart phone app designed for children with autism to easily learn and engage with their families. • To download, search “Aiko & Egor” on the iTunes Store for your Apple device and the Google Play Store for your Android device. • Visit www.aikoandegor.org to learn more about the app, watch animated videos, and sign up for our e-newsletter. The app is developed by See Beneath, a San Diego-based nonprofit co- founded by autism experts with years of experience in autism research and intervention.