Saturday, December 31, 2016

ROUNDING UP 2016

The first post on this blog was put up on December 31, 2013. Every year since then, I always put up an anniversary post on December 31. Last year, in my anniversary post, I wrote that it’s not too late to start, especially for parents with teenage or adult children on the spectrum seeking for therapy or support for their children.


My Anniversary Look 😀

For me, I started the year working with a 21 year old, and I was reminded that there are adults with autism, and the children right now will become adults. In February, I attended a training by Patrick Speech and Languages Centre on Adulthood and Autism, where I had the opportunity to meet a woman whose son had joined Patrick Speech at 35, and was making tremendous progress, to the surprise and pleasure of everyone.

In April, Mr Isaac Osae-Brown featured on the blog, writing on Transition in Autism, and I learnt a lot on preparing our teenagers and adulthood for the work place. You can read the posts here.

I spent the rest of the year observing and learning about teenagers and adults on the spectrum. The icing on the cake for me was watching the presentations by the adults at Patrick Speech, at the last Talents in Autism Show. It was an emotional time for me, as I watched them sing, play the keyboard, and danced. There was a 25 year old who could say the day of the week that any date in the past fell on, or any date in history will fall on. He is so good with dates, such that he has been taught to file documents according to dates, using it as a strength in building office skills. This young man can remember the date he handled any document, or when a meeting held.
At the Talents in Autism Show, there were other presentations that touched me; one girl painted a beautiful work of art on stage, there was a presentation by the early intervention class that has children that are about 3 and 4 years old, dance presentations by different classes, and there was a beautiful rendition of songs by Ebuka and friends while Ebuka (a ten year old on the spectrum) played the keyboard.
Did I mention that I saw an artwork by the guy that started therapy at 35, who is now 37? I saw his artwork, and it was beautiful. I also met an 18 year old, who is good with numbers, and can fix any puzzle no matter how hard (he won’t stop until he is done).
Meeting all these people reminds me that it’s never too late to start. It is better to start, even when it is late, than to assume that it is late and give up. As I say this about working with people on the spectrum, I also say this about dreams.
Do you have any dream in your heart, and you think time has passed, as we start a new year, it is a good time to start planning how to start work on that dream. It may be harder to start now, but starting brings hope. And if you don’t give up, who knows how well it will do, or how far you will go.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary to us here at Autism Gist with Adelola. It’s been 3 years of serving the autism community in Nigeria, and we look forward to more years. Don’t forget to follow our Thursday throwbacks, by following @adelolaonautism on Twitter.

Have a beautiful and wonderful 2017! Happy New Year in advance.