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Autism Reality NB at IMFAR 2012 in Toronto, Canada

This blog post is by Harold Doherty. His son Conor has autism. Visit Harold's blog Facing Autism in New Brunswick for more!

You can find the original post here.

 

I am off tomorrow morning, very early tomorrow morning, for the IMFAR 2012 convention in Toronto.  I am very excited to be attending and blogging courtesy of Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks Canada, Dana Marnane and Suzanne Lanthier.  It was a tough day today though. Conor knows Dad won't be home for a few days and he has been a bit agitated.  This afternoon I received a call from the good people at the Leo Hayes High School that Conor was not having a good afternoon. They thought it better that he stay at school until his regular departure time though and I agreed.  When I picked him up I was informed that Conor had in fact calmed down and the rest of the afternoon had gone well.  Conor will miss his old Dad until I return Saturday night.  I might react differently but I will be missing him too.
 
It is worth it though to attend IMFAR with the annual concentration of autism research and knowledge being hosted in Canada. I am looking forward to blogging about IMFAR from the perspective of a father of a 16 year old son severely affected by his Autistic Disorder.  I underlined Disorder intentionally.  Autism for me is not a culture or a way of life. It is not just a different way of thinking.  It is a serious disorder that restricts my son's life, my son that I love dearly.  I want to attend IMFAR and learn  as much as possible and, hopefully, convey what I have learned, filtered through the perspective I have provided at Facing Autism in New Brunswick for 6 years. It is the perspective of a realistic, caring father who refuses to drink the "autism is a blessing" feel good Kool-Aid of the Neurodiversity advocates who insist on obliterating from public awareness the harsh realities inflicted on so many, including my son, who suffer from autism disorders. 
 
I hope the IMFAR convention brings news of real progress in autism research.  Although I am a realist I do not give up hope, hope based in solid research.  
 
I thank Autism Speaks for this opportunity.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.