We come together

Maura Buckley

When autism touches your life, something else may follow — isolation.  Parents of children with autism often find that isolation can overcome us before we realize it’s coming. We get consumed with trying to meet the needs of our children while attempting to keep up with life’s other responsibilities. Our heads are down reading, researching, trying to make sense of it all, and trying to make the right decisions.  Our heads are up coaxing communication, managing meltdowns, and working to accomplish our goals.  We are off and running to work, therapies, medical appointments, evaluations, meetings…and the list goes on.

Before we know it, some of our connections to the world have slipped away.  Some of the connections that remain can begin to feel less accessible and different now. And then, new connections emerge.

Families, individuals, and professionals affected by autism have an instant connection, a common goal to share information and personal stories, and a world of support. When we come together, united as a community at a conference like the Autism Society’s National Conference, these connections are embraced and new connections form.  For me, it feels like a blanket of support is thrown over us all. And then the isolation melts away.

Across the country and at forums like this conference, parents are learning from one another and from dedicated professionals.  We are able to hear directly from individuals with autism about how they navigate their worlds; we hear their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.  Professionals are able to gain a family perspective, a sense of walking in our shoes. We learn about what works for others, new innovations being developed for our children, and stories that bring us comfort or prepare us for the next challenge.  We come together and go forward together with unity and hope.

Maura Buckley
Product Developer, Discovering Behavioral Intervention