Posts Tagged ‘taca’

Autism One Conference

May 28, 2008

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. My wife and I just returned from the recent Autism One Conference in Chicago. What a great experience this was for us.

It was almost overwhelming to be in a place where we were surrounded by fellow parents of autistic children…to be in a room with others who know exactly how we’re feeling and what it feels like to deal with the early days following the diagnosis.

My mind is still trying to process everything we learned and experienced there so I’m sure I’ll do some follow-up posts later, but here are a few highlights…

The Jenny McCarthy keynote speech was incredible. She was very inspiring and I like how she just kind of tells it like it is. At the end of her speech, they showed a trailer for an upcoming documentary that she’s involved with. I seem to recall at the end of the trailer they showed a website for her film, but at the moment I’m not having success recalling the website or finding it through google.

We went to a social they held one of the nights where we had the opportunity to chat with parents who are members of TACA which is a group that helps parents of autistic children. We were able to chat with people who have kids that are recovered or are recovering. There is no one-size-fits-all scenario when it comes to the different treatments you can do, but it was still good to hear that so many people are having success using the biomedical approach. Sometimes you hear stories of almost instantaneous recovery, but most of the parents told us it’s a slow and steady road, but that if you keep with it, you might be amazed how far your child will go.

I could list all the amazing sessions we sat through by some of the top doctors and minds that are trying to change the course of autism, but the names probably don’t mean much to anyone not affected by autism. I can just say that it was affirming to know that much is being learned about autism.

It was interesting to hear one of the speakers say that 10 years ago he used to go to autism conferences and it looked like a bunch of zombies were walking around…no one had any reason to be hopeful. But this speaker said that this year’s conference in particular was a revelation to him as he saw so many people walking around excited and that there was a real sense of hope and optimism in the air.

After sitting through the sessions and talking with other parents, I feel confident that we’re on the right track with our son. It’s going to take time, but I have a feeling that there are much brighter days ahead for us…and for countless other families that are in a similar situation.

It was also just a great chance for my wife and I to get away together for a few days. Many thanks to Grandma and ‘Pa for watching our little guy. It didn’t take long though (I’d say we were only gone for about 10 minutes or so) before we started wondering what our little guy was up to. It was sure nice to see his adorable little smiling face when we got back.