Perhaps you've seen his many Tweets as TannersDad ; Tim Welsh is the dad of a kid with autism. He works tirelessly to increase autism awareness and is respectful even when we disagree. I asked him if it would be okay to ask a few questions for my blog, and he agreed.
1)What was it like when you first got the diagnosis of Autism for your son?
Tanner was "Officially Medically" Diagnosed at age 5... We had gone through Diagnosis of Apraxia of speech, Educational Diagnosis of Autism, PDD-NOS, and finally Autism. It was a process but we had to go through all the stages of loss. We were in denial, Angry, revengeful, grasping for justification and much more. I am still frustrated at the lack of help or explanation. When he was talking, Then got vaccines, & Lost his voice... the timing is suspicious....
2)What do you think the biggest issue surrounding autism right now?
Boy that is a tough question... I would say that the general publics apathy & inaction when it comes to Autism. It is right up there with the lack of services & Support. So many of the Autism issues are inter-related to current issues Health Care reform, insurance Reform, Respect, Restraint & Seclusion laws, Housing, Employment, & Need for answers.
3)What is something you wish other people would understand about Autism?
It is what you do not see that is the issue... These Individuals are some of the most healthy looking & Beautiful... But the stress, Strain , and need for help is immediate. Studies have show families dealing with Autism are under as much stress as those suffering form PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
4)What do you wish autism organizations would do (or more of) ?
My dream & Vision is first & Foremost for all Autism Organizations to get on the same page... I started the twitter initiative #UWAC unity within Autism Community. We have much more that we agree on than disagree but sometimes arguments flood the airwaves. To me Awareness, Respect, Services, Employment, Housing, Human Rights, Respite, & Answers all need to be on the front burner.
5)What has helped your son the most?
Love from family. We have a great need for ABA therapy and pray one day that we will have the resources to provide that for Tanner. We are blessed that he has a personality akin to what I imagine Jesus to have. Calm, Happy, Loving... Just beautiful.
You can get in touch with Tim here:
Cell:217 260 3098
#HDTJ #APE #FeelAutismYet #FAY #AutismABC #TAhml #Truthfirst #MTHA #BFH #1in58 #autism
(Yes, he did give permission to give out contacts, don't worry!)