Friday, March 25, 2011

My Child Has Autism, Now What?

My friend and colleague, Dr. Susan Larson Kidd, published her first book recently!  My Child Has Autism, Now What?  Ten Steps to Get You Started.  At the clinic, where I work, we were all happy for her and so we hosted a book signing event at a local art museum.  I had the opportunity to introduce Dr. Kidd and this meant thinking about her, her work, and our relationship.  I will say a few words on these three topics here--because all of these things are important to me.  
Let me tell you about Dr. Susan Larson Kidd.  First, don't you think she has a great last name?  I know that the kids she works with love calling her Doctor Kidd.  She is an Educational and Behavioral Consultant who works in private practice and lectures around the nation.  She is good at practically everything that I find difficult.  Like singing.  That is something that I admire that she is good at and I am not.  In addition, she organizes and plans and documents and remembers the details like what various parts of the brain are called and the names of various intervention strategies and who the important researchers are and what they have contributed to the field of autism. So, when she writes a guide book for parents of newly diagnosed children, you can be sure that it will be practical, organized, well-researched and useful. It is a shame you can't hear her sing in this book, though.

We do have some things in common, Dr. Kidd and I.  We both find great pleasure in spending time with children who have autism. We share a passion for educating parents.  We both believe in the capacity of parents to learn and grow well into the fascinating journey that they begin the moment they start to parent a child with autism.  We sincerely believe that with good information and the acquisition of some new parenting skills, it is realistic and possible for parents of children with autism to create happy family lives.  The book Dr. Kidd has written reflects one of our shared goals in life which is to guide children with autism and their families toward happy lives.

 I will take this opportunity to reflect on my friendship with Dr. Susan Larson Kidd as well and give you an insider scoop, because we have a meet every week at least once if we possibly can kind of friendship. Every way that she and I are different and each way that we are the same contributes to the richness of our friendship.  We cover more territory in life through our friendship because of our differences and yet it always feels like we are moving in the same direction.  Professionally, in the same way that parents of children with autism must seek out support, in order to parent their best, those of us who work in this field also need support.  We need to be able to talk about our successes, which might seem insignificant to someone unfamiliar with autism.  We need to be able to talk about our dreams for children and get a second opinion on whether these dreams are too small, too grandiose or reasonably ambitious. We need someone safe with whom we can share failures and insecurities. We need someone to remind us of things we used to know but have forgotten.  We need someone to motivate us to keep seeking out new knowledge even though learning about autism can feel like trying to drink out of a fire hose.   Susan is all these things for me and more.  I hope you will buy and read her book and share a little in the joy of knowing Dr. Susan Larson Kidd.




Lexi, who is pictured in the book, is signing books too.

3 comments:

priscilla said...

awesome article Tahirih!

priscilla said...

awesome article Tahirih!

koo' said...

i loved reading this. it was a pleasure to meet SLK recently.