● By Brian O
By: Jennifer Miller
I guess my title could be “stay-at-home mom,” but it doesn't really fit what I do. I am a mother of three wonderful children. My middle son, Owen, is 14 years old and has autism. He is very handsome. I can’t call him “cute” anymore because it embarrasses him. He has a set of eyes and a smile that make you melt. Right now life is pretty good considering where we came from: constant meltdowns, lack of ability to communicate, physical aggression, etc.
We made it through those difficult times. People now comment on how much he has changed over the years. Maturity and a service dog might be some of it. I can’t pinpoint exactly the things that worked or didn't work. We tried many different things, from medications and supplements to biofeedback and therapies. What I think worked more than anything was constantly teaching and constantly removing obstacles. I never let one moment go by without teaching him something. If he asks a question or makes a comment about a tree, we learn about trees. If he is doing something that is not socially acceptable, we talk about it.
I always take him with me – if he has a meltdown other people will just have to deal with it. After all, Owen is going to have to figure out how to work and live in this society, and I make sure that he is involved as much as possible.
So I have changed my title to “Remover of Obstacles.” It’s a better fit.