Saturday, 29 October 2011

Confessions of an Information Junkie

My name is Teriann and I am an addict...My drug of choice? Knowledge.
I remember clearly the day my son Pierce was diagnosed. I had a lot of reports from various professionals and a really detailed letter from his pre school listing his often unusual and challenging behaviour to take with me to the Paediatrician. The Paediatrician told me he could have diagnosed him from the letter and asked if I knew what the list of behaviours were connected to. I had noticed that a paragraph in the letter was to do with eye contact (lack of) and not greeting people. I told him I had noticed this and that I thought those things were to do with Austism. I then stated "but he doesn't have Austism."
His answer... "doesn't he?"
I then explained that he couldn't have as he could talk. You see that was the extent of my knowledge of Autism. They didn't look people in the eye and they could not talk. The Dr then went on a very detailed explanation talking about Spectrum's and Umbrellas and Traits and something called the DSMV IV???  He then proceeded to tell me that he thought it very likely my son fitted nicely under this "Umbrella" and diagnosed him with Autism.
I of course wanted to know what HE could do to "fix" him.  He told me nothing but I could help make Pierces life easier and the best thing to do was to go home start googling ,start reading and start learning.
So I did and almost four years later I haven't stopped. I am preoccupied with all things to do with Autism and in particular Aspergers syndrome, which I now have two children diagnosed with. My Husband tells me I am obsessed and he is right but as any parent of a child on the spectrum have to be.
On my quest for knowledge I discovered workshops and seminars. These are fabulous events where I can submerge myself in the world of Autism for hours and sometimes even days. My favourite part of these events?
The resource table.The resource table is where you find the marvellous invention, the fact sheet. I LOVE fact sheets and I have an entire 5 shelf cupboard full of them to prove it! My addiction has become so bad I am in fact banned from bringing any more paper into the house. Thankfully a lot of these events are now emailing fact sheets and will even put you on a mailing list so the gathering of information never ends...
 SHHH don't tell my Husband!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Changing Lives

I promised in my last Blog Post,exactly one month ago, (remember, I am the Worlds Worst Blogger) that I would explain what I had been so busy doing that I had neglected my Blog so badly...
The story actually begins early this year when I was at yet another ASD workshop. I mentioned my boys, like alot of people on the Austism Spectrum, had a love of technology and in particular their iPod touches they had been given for Xmas. I also said I was interested in the educational apps and also how the boys would respond to an iPad. One of the Mums said she had found a website dedicated to iPads, Apps and Special needs kids. I wrote down the sites name on a piece of paper, put it in my bag and never saw it again.
Luckily, we had a wonderful group facilitator who hunted this lovely woman down and found the information I needed. So began my love affair with A4cwsn ( Apps for Children with Special Needs)
A4cwsn is not just a is a community with a Facebook page with almost 7000 members. Members who, like me, have Special Needs Children. On this page I met the most amazing bunch of people . People who's personal stories would break your heart in two or make it burst with pride at the achievements of their children. People who probably don't have a second to spare between all the appointments with Therapists and Drs their children need to see, but who make the time for each other.
Like all great communities A4cwsn has it's leader. Gary James is,as he is fond of telling everyone, "just a Dad".A Dad of six children, two of whom have Special Needs and who inspired him to create A4cwsn.
Have a look at this video and see some of the unbelievably awesome things he has done and is going to do...

Untitled from on Vimeo.
So, this is all very moving but I guess it doesn't explain what I have been doing...Well, A4cwsn is now in Australia. Yes we have our very own Facebook page ,(we are also in Canada AND Europe ) and along with some other wonderful Mums who I am now very proud to call  friends, actually we are almost family, I am helping to Admin this wonderful page. We started only 8 weeks ago and already have almost 1000 members. We have had our very first app party giving away 100s of apps, iPad cases and accessories. AND we have given away two iPads! We have a great group of supporters and can't wait to start our iPad campaign.
Now is when I ask for your help. To help raise funds for the iPad campaign we have entered a contest to win $5000.00. That would be 10 iPads for 10 Special Needs Kids-10 lives changed. AND all you need to do is vote. AND when you vote you can enter a draw to win an iPad that we will give away IF we win.
Click on this link vote for Kylies dream and then when you get your verification email and confirm your vote send it to us at and we will add you to the draw IF we win.

So, my house is a mess, my Blog is neglected and I dream of iPads and Apps and Developers at night but it is all worth it...I am helping to change lives! Can you help too?