Sunday, March 21, 2010

Autism and me

On February 16th, 2010 our lives changed forever when our son Johnny was diagnosed with autism. We knew Johnny wasn’t a typical 3 year old. His vocabulary only consisted of “Mama” and “Daddy”. He seemed to be trapped in his own little world, and had trouble telling reality from fantasy. Johnny won’t always respond to his name and rarely makes eye contact with us. We knew something was wrong, but it was completely disheartening to have our fears confirmed by the doctor. The worse is that our son can’t tell us what he wants or needs. He can’t tell us why he’s crying. Is he hungry, hurt, tired, sad, or mad at his older brother? We have to decipher his cries and whines as if he were an infant. And, we may never hear our son say “I love you.” Despite all of this, Johnny is still an incredible little boy. He is amazing at building Legos. He creates an image in his head of exactly what he wants to make, and then builds it without a pause or second thought. He also loves to entertain. He will dance and perform when ever given a chance. Yet sometimes his adorable performances show how he is slowly slipping more and more into his own little world. With intensive therapy he may be able to learn to talk and interact appropriately with others. Only time will tell. What we do know for certain is that Johnny Bishop Pierce will do amazing things one day.

This year we will be involved in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Milwaukee. We will walk on May 1st to honor our son and all the other strong families who battle with autism everyday. Our goal is to raise $1000. With help from our family, friends, and community we know we can easily reach this goal. We are asking for you to give what ever you can to team Johnny B. Cured. Every dollar counts. Your donations will go to help find a cause and cure for autism. As of today, 1 in 91 children are diagnosed with autism. Ours happens to be that one. Autism Speaks also raises awareness and helps these children get the therapy they need. As of right now it will be over a year before Johnny is eligible to get any kind of therapy. Each day that goes by with out intensive therapy is a day that child slips further into their own world. We are trying to raise awareness so insurance companies see how important this is and will cover this extremely expensive therapy. We appreciate what ever you can give, if only your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you in advance for all your love and support,
Leigh, Sarah, Taylor and Johnny Pierce

I'll post some instructions for if you choose to donate.

2 comments:

Stefan said...

There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy Bérard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at: http://www.uk.sascentre.com/uk_free.html.

autismspeaks said...

Hi Leigh,

We are so happy to hear that you will be joining us for the Milwaukee Walk. Would you be interested in sharing this blog post on the Autism Speaks Walk blog (walknowforautismspeaks.wordpress.com)? You can e-mail me at editors@autismspeaks.org. Best of luck with your fundraising and thanks for your support!

Take care,
Jennifer P.