Learning from Others

With most things in life we look to others for their experience, their tips, their successes and their failures. As a new runner, I rely on my clinic leader at the Running Room to learn what I need to keep me safe and help me achieve my goals.

In fundraising, there are so many experts, people with years of experience and folks just coming out school who have my attention. I can’t ignore the impact donors have made on me in learning about my profession.

In life, my greatest teachers are consistently my kids.

The short version of all this is that there are lessons all around me and some people have lived what I have lived through with tales to tell.

Today is a great example.

Logging into Twitter I see that one of the people I follow (yes, I know I am supposed to call them tweeps if I want to seem au courant) @ipads4autism has mused about making #teamautism a top trend.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to raise money specifically for families to afford IBI treatments. If you are able to afford IBI where you live or if you live somewhere other than Ontario, this statement may not make sense to you. Bear with me.

My son has been on a waitlist for IBI (Intensive Behaviour Intervention) services for what amounts to half his life. The cost of those services is beyond our budget. Actually, the cost of those services would be beyond our budget for the next couple of lifetimes.

That means that in Ontario, Daniel is on a waitlist. Perhaps by the fall, he will be in an IBI program and at that point we have to decide if we go with fully-funded government programs or take the cash and purchase services privately and pay something on top of that because the government amount doesn’t completely cover private services.

Yeah, so back to twitter and #teamautism. It’s connected to the Dan Marino Foundation http://www.twitter.com/DanMarinoFdtn) and a project by Samsung in the States to give $5 for every tweet, Facebook status update or check-in reference to http://www.teamupforaustim.com/ which is the Dan Marino Walkabout for Autism on January 29th, aka today.

Down toward the bottom of the page is a great video where Dan and Claire talk about their son, Michael, being diagnosed. See it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBB8ToHuoCs

Not only did I hear the words of other parents who have children who were non-verbal like Daniel, I heard that despite all the gifts that Dan and Claire have, they struggled to figure out what autism meant. Claire had the same challenges that every parent (frankly, mostly moms) have in getting their kids to the appointments.

What did I learn from the Marino’s experience? Once we learn how to support our kids and ourselves, we have to help others to learn how to support their kids and themselves.

Tweet, check-in at foursquare or update your status about #teamautism today. It’s free. It’s painless. And it’s about helping parents getting what they and their kids need. Follow @DanMarinoFdtn or @DanMarino on Twitter. It’s not like there’s a football game on today, so you can’t use that as your excuse. While you are at it, peek at www.childnett.tv and recommend it to others living with autism.

I’m on Twitter, too. Care to check me @Gingerheaddad or my list @Gingerheaddad/autismtweeps out?


7 thoughts on “Learning from Others

    • Tim, we are in Hamilton. Waitlists are part of the process and some parents are in much more difficult circumstances than we are. I understand from a lot of folks that Hamilton area waitlists are not bad compared to a good chunk of the province.


  1. Interesting. The Southwest Region has the shortest waitlist (we waited 9 months), but Hamilton is (unfortunately) notorious for pre-mature ejection from IBI. The limit appears to be 18-24 months – beyond that, they seem to “find a way” to get the kids out.


      • Hit me up with an email and I’ll tell you what I know. I do think given what I believe to be your wait so far you would probably be top of the waitlist here, since transfers into the region are prioritized by your date of entry. That is, if you have waited 2 years outside the region, then you are deemed to have waited 2 years inside the region as well and then you are prioritized based on that.


  2. Maybe this is how you found me in the first place, but I wonder if you read my review on this book:

    It really was a great book with some fun suggestions! Amongst the stress and waiting etc.etc. that you have to go through, you have to through some fun in there too–however, the small bit I’ve gotten to know of you, something tells me your family isn’t lacking in the FUN dept.! 😉


    • Thank you. There is a family sense of humour, wonder and fun that I am pretty sure all my siblings and I inherited from my father. We are doing the best we can to encourage fun and wonder in the next generations.

      I didn’t see your review of Susan Walton’s book and in fact I stumbled upon (oops, that’s another site) you on Twitter. We have some followers/people we are following in common. I like your review and will get my grubby little hands on it because we can all use some help & advice on keeping our kids going, whether or not we are the fun family on the block.

      Now, if only someone would write a book for the kids on keeping me from trying to have too much fun…


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