“Raising A Child With Autism .“
I have faced many challenges in my life. Perhaps the greatest of them all is parenting a child with autism. Our son Ross was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 years old. After his diagnosis, our lives changed forever.
I wish I could say that back then I knew for sure that that the emotional pain that accompanied that diagnosis, happened for a good. My husband and I did not know what to do. (That was a first for us). I would later discover that God would use whatever or whoever he has to use to get your attention and teach you how to need him.
Parenting a child on the autism spectrum has been the most painful yet rewarding experience I have ever had. Our son, Ross was non-verbal for the first 11 years of his life. The first 8 years were the hardest. He was actually potty trained at 8 years old. We had so much to learn and so little answers. Every child on the spectrum is different. So many parents are suffering in silence after an autism diagnosis. It is unchartered territory for many.
In many cases, you have to learn what they liked to eat, wear and do for fun, through non verbal cues. The textures of their food , clothing and bedding are a big deal. We found ourselves requiring an external community and books to raise our own child. There were many days all we could do is fall apart. In the final analysis this journey turned out to be a tremendous blessing.
I wanted to do this topic for those of you experiencing the fear and uncertainty that follows an autism diagnosis. Everyone knows someone or has someone in their family on the autism spectrum. After 13 years raising our son on the spectrum, We are here to tell you that “Joy cometh in the morning!” His speech is coming along nicely. He and I coauthored a book called , “Art Is My Voice” (available on Amazon and this site) which was inspired by me observing his way of communicating with his art, before he had actual words. I began to heal after I came to terms with the fact that my son did not need to change, I needed to change to meet his special needs. It was not easy, however, it became easier, once I surrendered and decided to see this journey as an opportunity for me to grow and learn.
Today, I was joined by a practitioner, Occupational Therapist, Lesley Ann Bailey, and two parents of a child on the spectrum, Mrs Paula Hospedales-Bosland http://www.instagram.com/hospe_chick and Dr Rhonda McEwen http://twitter.com/rhondamcewen . You can follow me on http://www.instagram.com/basiapowell and http://twitter.com/basiapowell
Lesley Ann Bailey
Ms. Lesley Ann Bailey is a Trinidadian/American.. She is an Occupational Therapist, an entrepreneur, and a graduate of Howard University. Lesley- Ann is based in Washington DC.
Dr Rhonda McEwen (she/her)
Canada Research Chair in Tactile Interfaces, Communication and Cognition.
Special Advisor to the Vice President and Principal UTM on Anti-Racism and Equity
Director and Professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology (ICCIT).
University of Toronto Mississauga | Faculty of Information (St. George)
Hervé Saint-Louis & Rhonda McEwen (2021) Diagrammatic mental representation: a methodological bridge, Visual Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2021.1878054
Paula Marie Hospedales-Bosland
Paula-Maria Hospedales moved to Nassau, Bahamas from Trinidad and Tobago in 2007. She is the mother of two sons, aged 16 and almost 13. Her younger son, Obasi, is on the Autism Spectrum and is functionally non-verbal. Paula’s professional background is in IT and Project Management. She works at Colina Insurance Limited as the Life Operations Business Analyst Manager and the Reinsurance Administration Manager. She is based in Nassau, Bahamas.
However, passion is her work with and for the Autism community with REACH (Resources and Education for Autism and related Challenges), a non-profit, non-government advocacy and support group dedicated to bettering the lives of families dealing with Autism in the Bahamas. She currently serves as Secretary of the REACH board.