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!

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