A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam

WE ARE… ADAM LANZA’S MOTHER

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When we heard about the tragedy in Connecticut, we like most people in America, were deeply shaken. But for us, the feelings of sadness were more than being parents and relating to the victims’ families. It was more than sadness over the loss of innocence of the survivors. We felt physically sick. We had an uneasy feeling.

When Leah heard that the school principal and school psychologist were shot, she immediately said that she thought it was the parent of a child with special needs who was fed up with “the system.”

We had a sixth sense that some how special needs was involved. When we heard the word autism connected to the shooter, it knocked the air right out of us. If you think about it, there but for the grace of God, any one of us could be Adam Lanza’s parent.

But, we do not want this incident to become the definition of autism. We do not want people to assume all people with autism are violent and someone to be feared. Our children are isolated enough as it is. Will children on the autism spectrum be even more discriminated against because of the actions of Adam Lanza?

When we saw this article, we were so impressed by Liza Long’s courage. She discusses the fears that many of us keep quiet and shove way down into the depths of our hearts.

As a society, we are failing children who have special needs. They are not being educated properly, they are bullied unmercifully, they are often abused by people in authority (the very people they are supposed to be able to trust), they are often times being improperly or over medicated, there are few jobs available for them after graduation, and the older they get people become afraid of them.

In addition, many times it is a single parent doing their best to raise a child with special needs. But even when two parents are involved, they often feel abandoned…left to fend for themselves. They turn to their family, friends, neighbors, and churches for help and nobody knows what to do. So the children continue to fall through the cracks.

We fear there will be more Adam Lanzas if something is not done.

But what should be done?

That is the million dollar question. We asked ourselves, if we had all the money in the world, what would we do to help? Many people are focusing on gun control, but we don’t think that is getting to the root of the problem. The root comes from the break down of the family unit and that we no longer have the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality in America. Many children are not getting the love and guidance they need at home nor in schools.

We don’t have all the answers, but we know one thing we would do is revamp the school systems. Perhaps, if teachers were given proper training and support and if students were taught from an early age to include children who are different from them, we could make a positive impact.

So, fellow bloggers in the autism community, what do you think? If you had all the money in the world to devote toward this problem, what would you do? Do you think this will lead to increased discrimination against children on the autism spectrum?

Liza Long said in her article, “This problem is too big for me to handle on my own.” She’s right, she can’t handle this on her own. Nobody could. Currently there are no good options. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… the autism community is screaming out for help. We need to support each other (instead of tearing each other down for our varying views) and we need society to stop trying to sweep us under the rug.

1:88 is not going away.

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Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.

4 thoughts on “WE ARE… ADAM LANZA’S MOTHER

  1. Your view is somewhat myopic- we don’t have all the money in the world and mainstream is doing what it can. We need to understand the cause and then find a cure. We need to be grateful for what we have.

    Already our public school has hired a social aid for each individual ASD child and completely scrapped the gifted and talented program. Where say you will that lead? We still have to support the children on the high end of the academic spectrum. Our society must be balanced.

    We do not need another rant, better, we need hard work leading to identifying the cause of ASD and then more hard work identifying the cure…. not just anger and demand for more money, more services and change to better integrate all children into one school. Our children are different and making them feel that they have to be equal can be detrimental. Celebrate the difference, love, support and work on a cause and cure.

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    • Dear JB,

      As we have addressed in many of our posts, we could not agree more that the number one priority for all of us should be finding the cause and cure for autism. But in the mean time, we feel it is important to address the immediate issues that face our children on a day to day basis.

      To your point, We obviously don’t have all the money in the world. The reason we made that point was to say…

      A) We realize revamping the schools would take an unrealistic amount of money.

      B) To show what a complex problem this is. That even if we had all the money in the world to throw at it, it’s still hard to figure out what to do to make things better.

      Regarding your next point… we are grateful for what we have and for the gains our children have made. But we ask you to recognize that so many parents of special needs children are in a lot of pain and not everyone will experience gains like we have.

      It sounds like you are blessed to be in a school district with a lot of money and services. However, we respectfully ask you to consider that this is not the case nationwide. We live in a state notorious for poor services. Our schools couldn’t (due to lack of funds) and wouldn’t EVER hire an aide for each ASD child. In our public schools, there is one teacher and one aide for 20 children. And that’s a fact.

      Sorry you felt like our post was a rant. Our hearts were/are aching for all the parents/children involved and for the state of society at large. We weren’t (and aren’t) angry. We are sad. In addition, we aren’t just venting and pointing fingers, waiting for someone else to take action. We are actually doing something to make our community better by starting a program to address the needs of children who are currently “falling through the cracks.” We knew we had to band together with other moms and offer a solution, rather than sit around and complain.

      You made the point about the need to support children on the high end of the academic spectrum. Again, this is where we share common ground. The program we have started is for children on the high end of the academic spectrum. It may surprise you to know that our children are considered “gifted” in certain academic areas while they are slightly below grade level in others.

      It sounds like you think we are in favor of integrating all kids into one school. Actually, we are not. In fact, our own children are not integrated. We have them in our program where they are separated for academics so that they can continue to accelerate in their gifted areas while catching up in areas that are more challenging for them. They have the option of being integrated into the regular classroom for specials like music, art, Spanish, etc. It is up to each individual parent as to whether or not they want their child to be integrated into the regular classroom. In many cases, integration is not the best answer. That is not what we are fighting for. We are fighting for our children to be in an environment where everyone has high expectations of them and where they can reach their true potential, whatever that may be.

      You ended your comment by saying we should celebrate the differences of our children. We absolutely do! That’s why we fight so hard for them every day. Thanks for reading and commenting. L&M

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  2. Thank you for this post. It amazes me how similar our thinking is on this topic. I truly believe that the isolation that exists these days for parents, particularly this with special need kids, is crippling. We need to follow the model of our ancestors and generations before us, pull together, form tribes to support and guide each other. I certainly dont have all the answers but it seems like it starts with supporting the family unit and taking care of each other. Of course, I also believe that clean food, quality sleep, and learning our limits of physical and mental stress are powerful components to promote health. We can’t continue to do this alone. Thank you for using this forum to bring us together.

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