Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence day = INTER dependence day

Independence day= “Inter”dependence Day

As we commemorate the 236th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, taking a look back at  our history helps remind us of our successes,  and where we need growth.

Today is a day to celebrate independence…to celebrate those who fight for our continued independence, and to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be here, free, writing whatever we wish to write.  While it is easy to take these freedoms for granted in the day to day, today is a special day to give a shout out…as Americans, to say THANKS to all of you who fight for freedom,  in any arena!

The older I get,  the more I realize the war on maintaining freedom extends to many different areas of our lives,  both collectively and individually.  While acknowledge the big guns of freedom, I also wanted to take my own personal thoughts on a battle very real to parents every day, the freedoms for our children…with Autism.

A few weeks ago, in New Jersey I stood before Governor Christie asking for that freedom..the freedom of choice for parents to choose which intervention they wanted for their child and have the same funding options for their choice.  This freedom was crucial for my own 2 boys as our family remediated Autism in their lives.  I was fortunate to be able to show the logic of funding to my school district years ago,  which of course they are reaping the benefit now as my son is in High school, with friends, and will live an independent life ( when I was told he would not).

But we all have heard the professionals tell us what our kids will not be able to do.  We as parents have a choice to let their words define our babies future, or to let those words spur us on to make sure that is not the future for our children!

This is the same spirit, that independence is built on.  The declaration of independence…. to pursue hope, on their terms.

The lessons of interdependence leads the way for crucial understanding of true dependence.

The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States – a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, 1932

...for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

This is a huge topic for me because with my own two boys, about 7 years ago I had come to a crossroads.  My then 8 year old could do a bunch of things by himself, as we worked for years to get him to that point…but missed the whole point of sharing the experience and reactions of anyone around him.  He successful went through a program to teach him how to act, but not understanding WHY! I kept saying, if he could just talk, it would be ok,  then he did but it was only for his needs.  Then if he could have a friend, it would be ok,  but he couldn’t, because he did not *get* the social nuances and minute by minute steps that it took to have that back and forth relationships. For my younger son, who was 4 at the time, I was able to learn from that, and turn the tides for him , and his older brother to concentrate more on interdependence FIRST, to have that TrUE sense of independence, emerge right before my eyes. To help them from the bottom up… Our kids with Autism, blossom with taking their need for  static “independence” ( leave me in my own world so that I am safe and nothing changes) and changing that to concentrate on the relationship of interdependence.  This is where in fact I had to start with my own kids.  This quote, speaks volumes for long term thinking…interdependence is necessary to success in marriage, family and organized realty ( LIFE that does not go as planned day to day)

Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won't be good leaders or team players. They're not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.

Think of your own child with Autism.  Do you find yourself working on skills and behaviors,  yet still there is that missing piece and you wonder if there isn’t a more pro active way to address the goals? There is…through guiding our kids through the developmental stages of  Interdependence… it is worth fighting for in our children and will bring them to an understanding of the experience process in relationships.  My youngest son, diagnosed at 18 months, severe infantile Autism,  understands reactions, perceptions and perspectives, as well as independence in the exciting things he can do as an 11 year old.  It is a complete, balanced package that typical children already have in place…so we cant skip the core importance of INTER dependence, otherwise we are on that hamster wheel in trying to fix this behavior or that one.  Interdependence allows our kids to have that intruistic motivation that relationships are rooted in beginning at birth!!

So Happy Independence day…rooted in interdependence J

Kathy Darrow
Click here for my younger sons before and after-
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