This might seem like a strange one but it’s very practical. The reality of special needs is that it’s often ruinously expensive.
I remember when Scub was first diagnosed, looking at the various therapies that were available - ABA at 80k + per year for example - and thinking wow, this will totally drain us. Then I thought, well, that’s up to us, maybe it could actually nurture the family. Hmmm...I had no idea what that might look like, but I threw the thought out there. Then as I began to work with some of these very expensive autism professionals I noticed something - almost none of them were autism parents! Hold on - it thought - surely autism parents, the ones with the real front line experience, should be the professionals?
But there seemed to be a dearth of parents in this position. It was understandable: the diagnosis hits people when they already have careers, and they have to struggle to keep these job going. but I also noticed that in two parent families one person often had to give up their job anyway and therefore became de facto professionals...yet unpaid.
My feeling is that this has to change. We, the autism parents with 10 years or more of experience are the ones who have the discernment, not to mention the hands-on experience, and the compassion and empathy for our fellow soldiers - parents newly diagnosed and confused.
So how to do this? Of course you can become certified in one or more of the many autism therapies - ABA, Floor Time, Sunrise, etc. - and the more parents working as professionals in these fields the better. But then there’s what we do.
I would like to encourage as many of you as possible to become Horse Boy Learning practitioners. Unlike the more rigid therapies, Horse Boy Learning (our work without horses) is simply a set of guidelines and ethics that can be tailored to any kid in any situation. It’s cheap to get going with (a hundred bucks as opposed to thousands) and you are then in a position to work with families in a very tangible way.
And autism will start nurturing, rather than draining, your family. Autism will become the family business, and your own child will teach you most of what you need to know.
It doesn’t have to be Horse Boy Learning - the main thing is to go your own way by following the obsessive, passionate interests of your child. The way to your family, tribal livelihood will lie in that area. But do it, because you, like me, are in this for life. in fact we are in it beyond the grave because we need to set up the financial structures that will help see our kids through their own lives - and by making autism the family business you will also create a professional livelihood not just for you but for each family member - including your auntie.
Scub is now producing media - as you can see by his Endangerous show. We do Horse Boy. It’s the tribal business and culture - all led by and inspired by him. It always comes down to follow the child, follow the child, follow the child....he or she will lead you to freedom. You and the whole family