Thank You, Ruth

Soon after my son’s diagnosis I met with many specialists familiar with autism.   What I noticed was that the specialists I talked to about Robert released only that information which I already had.  When I knew less, they told me less.  When I knew more, they told me more, but not more than I already knew.  The benefits of these appointments were that the specialists wrote reports.  They put all the information I had  in writing and legitimized it with their signatures with “PhD” respectfully displayed at the end of their names. That did help with schools.

But it was not enough for Robert.

Ruth A.  never met my son but, nonetheless, helped him the most.  She helped me to learn how to  help my son.  From one of the campuses of Indiana University she sent an internet list.  ME- List.  I think that it was  very hard for her to moderate the list where overeager and overstressed parents without any  other place to turn to for instruction and emotional support gathered  to learn, to share, and to vent their frustrations.  The ME-List was a life saver for me, because I, too, was overstressed, overeager,frustrated,  completely lost, and  bitterly lonely.

But most importantly I got concrete, useful, and usable information.  Information that allowed me to try new approaches, to move forward when I was trapped, to find resources.

Have I not heard from ME_LIST parents then about Edmark Reading Program (I believe it was not on the disk yet only in an immense plastic case) or such  SRA Publications like Horizon Reading, Language for Learning, Reasoning and Writing (SRA is now a division of McGraw-Hill) my son would not read, would not write, would not learn important language concepts.

Have I not heard about Saxon Math my son would not add numbers up to ten, and certainly would not add fractions with different denominators. I would not supplement his math program with Math U See   (for extra practice) or with Singapore Math (for clarification of concepts) have it not been for an advice provided by one of the parents on Me- LIST

Have I not heard about Fun Deck cards from Super Duper School Company and language workbooks from Great Ideas  for Teaching, my son’s language would be in much, much worse shape.  (Well, it is still very delay in the most important aspect of language and so we are still practicing every day with support from other sets of cards and other workbooks)

Have I not heard about Sensible Pencil,  Writing Without Tears, or Write from the Start my son would neither print nor write in cursive.

I heard about those curricula not from teachers and not from distinguished professionals.  I heard from parents on the ME-LIST.

I lost the track of the Me-List.   Maybe it emigrated to Facebook or Twitter. Maybe it doesn’t exist anymore.

But wherever you are Ruth, please, know that you did for Robert, a boy you had never met, more  than almost anybody else did.

Thank you