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Through Grandma's Eyes The Drake Family

Posted by Christa Milner on September 5, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Autism to me means: a child or adult that is usually highly intelligent, unpredictable at times, creative, sensitive, fun, mysterious, beautiful, and brave! You see, Autism has come into my life through my grandson, Logan, my nephew, Jack, and many other children that I have the privilege to get to know and work with.

My grandson was a child with typical behaviors and skills. By the time Logan was 20 months old, his skills and behaviors had changed so much we could hardly believe it. Logan lost nearly all expressive language, could no longer play or make eye con-tact, and had many other troublesome signs. With little knowledge of Autism, we were scared for Logan having never met anyone that had a child who had a regression period like Logan.

Now, of course, I have met several people who have had this same thing happen to their precious child or grandchild. Go- ing to the Autism Support Group at My Place To Be (MP2B) helped me learn, accept, and understand Autism. Logan is blessed to have parents and family who are very involved. Logan also has many wonderful people in his life. These include the Hope for Autism Applied Behav-ioral Analysis team from Denison University, Dr. Bar-bara Lechner’s Language Experience Center, Play Project with Occupat ional Therapist Hol ly Wheeler, the Eleanor S. Weiant Cen-ter, and his current elementary school. Logan is also fortunate to have the wonderful people here at MP2B in his life. MP2B has done so much to help so many families. I love working here, and I think it’s so great that there is a place in our community where chil-dren with Autism and their families receive the help they need. MP2B is truly a voice for all of us, coming from a big old house with adventure, love, laughter, and fun. I know that many of us are so thankful that Christa Milner kept her dream alive. With so many hopes and dreams for my grandson, my nephew, and all children with Autism, I believe that if we all stay positive, keep our sense of humor, and – most of all – never give up, anything is possible.

After reading countless books on Autism, my favorite author – for now – is William Stillman, who has Autism. My favorite quote of his is when in doubt, “presume intellect” in the person with Autism “and interact with a belief in competence” as gently and respectfully as you would anyone else. I try to keep this in mind when working with any per-son who has Autism. In closing, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have helped, not only my grandson, but also our whole family. I hope I will be able to help you all in the years to come.

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