To Be Thankful


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Thoughts From The Heart

There have been times when I thought my youngest son, Jeremy, would never talk. Would never be able to say, "I Love You, Mom". Falling back on my "old" interpreter ways, I remembered that the true experts, not just those who claim to be, have said that sign language can enhance and encourage speech in non-verbal children. Not only that, but even hearing, normally developed infants who are taught sign language during their first year, can have an average 10 points higher of an IQ than what they would have had without the sign language intervention. I myself attend a deaf & hard of hearing Sunday School class at Church. Not only to be involved in the deaf community, make deaf friends, learn more and more sign language as much as I possibly can, but I have noticed that I gleen so much more of the spiritual message having that visual imput as well as audial. My son needed another mode of communication. A year ago he told me he loves me for the first time. With the I Love You hand sign. He was 8 years old. That was a long, but well worth wait!

A woman mountain biking; Actual size=180 pixels wide









Citizenship Essay
By Daniel Austin

My vision of good citizenship in the new millennium is to help autistic children like me. I want to make a difference in their life, just like others have made a difference in my life.

Most people don't know it, but a lot of autistic people are smart. Sometimes, the autistic person doesn't even know that they are smart. I would like to help autistic kids at summer camp. I would like to teach them how to fish. I love to fish. I want to teach them how to ride a horse. I love horses! I will teach them about lions, dinosaurs, bats, butterflies and how to make smores.

Most of all, I want to help them know that they are special. I want them to know that autism won't be able to stand in their way in life. Good people have helped me understand things in life. I want to help kids to understand things in life. I will be very patient and not get cranky with these kids. Autistic people are citizens, in the new millennium too