Friday, January 13, 2012

Autism Pirate

PHOTO-From Left to Right: Amber, Tara, Mandy, Sara, Janet, Trina

My friend Amber has been talking for years about her good friend, Tara, who lives in Missouri now.  I have always missed her whenever she’s come to visit Amber, but a week ago I attended Amber’s pre-New Year’s party for Tara’s family, the Shades…and finally got to meet the famous Tara!
Immediately, I loved her.  Now, I’m definitely a lover anyway as most my friends will tell you, but I have to say she’s one of a kind.  I watched in awe as she whipped around Amber’s house and kitchen, running the show.  Now anybody who knows Amber knows that Amber runs the show at her house, and often times, at everyone else’s house too!  Plus, she’s normally the loudest one of the party.  Not with Miss Tara!  Between the two of them, there would be no word in edgewise.  I stayed a silent bystander as the two became the life of the party…wondering who could get the loudest of the two.
Almost immediately, Tara mentioned she read our blog, and enjoyed it….and said that she had a blog, autism pirate inspired by her son Rye, an autistic child, and her work with children with autism.  I was immediately tuned in…she worked with autistic children before she had Rye.  She had a full scope of knowledge and will power to raise a young child with diagnosed with it—and she has.  Now I’d never say it was fate that anyone had a child with autism…but I will say this: who better to handle it than someone that works with autistic children?
I watched as a very cute eight-year-old boy came upstairs, seemingly completely developmentally fine to me!  He talked with the other children, and ran around the living room as though he was enjoying himself.  “Just watch.” Tara said.  “You’ll see the signs.”  Soon enough Rye was ready to go back downstairs, not wanting to socialize any further with such a large group of people.
I watched as Tara patiently asked him a few times to go around the room and say hello to everyone prior to him being able to retreat back to his solitude.  And, he did!  He seemed relieved to head back downstairs, but the key was, he listened.  Tara didn’t yell or holler when he didn’t respond the first or second time, she asked him; she simply asked again.
“I ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior.” She told me matter of factly.  “We have a system going at home for both of our children, including or normal-developing child, Wyatt, where they get rewarded for good behavior.”  I toyed with this idea with glee.  You see, there’s lots of bad behavior in my household!  I wondered how some type of new system where the kids could see improvement & the rewards for such and how that would affect some of our current issues.
Then Tara gave the opportunity to view her blog.  I was amazed…I honestly was opened up to a new world.  Who would have known so much about such a widely known issue in children?  And watching her son Rye, and reading about him makes me wonder…he’s very apparently a very intelligent child.  And although I don’t know him well enough to observe, I’d bet there’s subjects where he’s more intelligent and will excel farther than you or I will…
I just had to jump on the chance to share such an amazing subject with all of our followers, and an amazing family…along with a fabulous blog.  Any set of parents with that much patience…with that much knowledge are something to be marveled all in itself.  Take a look at her blog here:
Also, stay tuned!  Tara has agreed to do a guest blog post in April for Autism awareness month!