We are back from our BlogHer break and ready to start up our Mom Mondays again! Today we have a very special mom who Kolcraft met at BlogHer. Tammy is the mom and author behind Autism Learning Felt who I connected with one evening after a long day at BlogHer. Even though it was a late hour, I was so energized and inspired by Tammy and how intelligent and learned she is on autism that I had to share her story with you.
Your blog and your business are very heartfelt. Tell us what prompted you to start a blog.
I wanted to create a place where I could help other parents. I wanted to be able to share my knowledge & experience and encourage others to share theirs too. I also wanted to use my blog to promote autism awareness and to educate my site readers to find out more about autism.
You obviously are very passionate about helping others understand autism. When your son was diagnosed with autism, what resources helped you?
The internet was my biggest help. I spent a lot of hours every day searching for information about autism. I bought books that were recommended. I joined online support groups. I was going everywhere I could for help.
Special needs children can bring immense joy as well as certain challenges. What has been your greatest joy? What has been you greatest challenge and how have your managed it?
My greatest joy has been the way that I have come to appreciate life. I see things differently through my son’s eyes. I take pleasure in the smallest accomplishments. I have experienced the joy of unconditional love.
My greatest challenge has been my son being nonverbal and stubborn. He is capable of communicating using the computer, but doesn’t always want to. When he is upset, he wants nothing to do with communicating. It is extremely frustrating, because it is hard to help him if I don’t know why he is upset.
What educational and political changes would you like to see to help families and children with autism?
I would like to see the education of our children improved. Right now, schools are doing what they perceive as the basics of service. They are providing what they deem to be an appropriate education. This, however, is not always adequate. I would also like to see more states pass laws requiring insurance companies to pay for autism related services, especially ABA. Some already have the law in place, a few are working on passing it, but many don’t have one.
What advice do you have for parents of an autistic child?
Be prepared to advocate for your child 24/7. It never stops. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what you know is best for your child.
Now for a quick glance into Tammy’s life.
What is always in your fridge? Milk and yogurt. Both are favorites of my kids.
What keeps you going through busy days? The knowledge that I can take a break when my husband gets home. It won’t be long, but it will be enough to get re-charged.
What’s your guilty pleasure? I have a favorite online game that I can get completely lost in. I don’t get to play that often, but when I do no one else gets the computer.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? Depends on the weather. To me, a “free day” means that I can take the kids fishing, hiking, or swimming. If the weather doesn’t permit, than it would be a day at the mall.
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would the title be? That’s a tough one. My kids are my life. I guess it would have to be My Two Angels because that is what they are to me.
If you have any questions for Tammy, feel free to leave them in our comment section or on her site.