Dear autism,

Once a year around diagnosis day, I like to take a comprehensive look at what we have accomplished in the treatment and or management of you. Last year was a whirlwind! We had ABA, music therapy, bio-medical intervention, speech therapy, social skills groups, occupational therapy, kindergarten academy, and three academic studies at Vanderbilt. Whew! Not to mention all of the assessments, evaluations, and general poking and prodding that go along with all of these. I am a proponent of aggressive intervention, but this year we are signing up for some stop and smell the roses therapy. We are coming out of the labs and classrooms and into the world. We will go to the grocery store and practice requesting and managing elopement behaviors. We will go to the park for impromptu play dates with typical peers. We will hang out at the YMCA and play borrowed musical instruments badly for music therapy and have a rockin good time. We will be less scheduled, more relaxed and we might even have money for ice cream now and again. Gluten-free sorbet in a cup of course….we’re not giving up EVERYthing.

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