One Year Anniversary for Pathways In Autism! Goal Setting Time!

I want to wish you all a happy and successful 2012!!!

I can’t believe it has been a year since my first post on this blog. It is my hope that something that was written was helpful to someone who is caring for, parenting, loves or knows someone who lives with Autism.

I plan on sharing much of the same type of content throughout 2012!

Also, my wife and I are collaborating on an exciting new project that we will announce as well in the weeks ahead! ;-)

Well, with a new year comes a new set of goals for 2012 as it relates to this blog! With any endeavor in life, if you don’t have written, realistic goals then you don’t have a plan for success. There is no way to keep yourself directed, honest and on track without having a road map for where you want your project to be at the end of the year.

Here are the goals I have for my autism advocacy efforts in 2012:

1) Continue to post content on this blog that is relevant to the blogs mission of providing “information, encouragement, support and guidance” to those families who are living with autism.

2) To take more of an active part in the larger military autism community through posts on this blog, national endeavors of opportunity as well as local hands-on efforts in the southeast.

3) To actively engage the local community through public speaking engagements in order to raise awareness, understanding and advocacy for those living with autism.

4) Begin fund-raising endeavors to provide direct monetary assistance that will be used for a variety of reasons to the needy families who live with autism.

5) To educate myself even further in information relevant to assisting others in their walk on the Pathways In Autism.

It is my hope and prayer that you are as excited about 2012 as me and my family are. Every year has been a year of growth, development and success for my family as we walk the pathways and I believe that 2012 will be that way for more families in our community. Make this year the breakout year that you serve more, love more, learn more and enjoy more of the eccentricities and little peccadilloes that your auttie brings to your life!

In Advocacy,

Mike

Pathways Update!

Hello Faithful Readers of This Blog,

I wanted to send a brief hello and update as I am now back in the States, performing the military duties that I have to endure shortly after an overseas deployment and preparing for some much-needed downtime with family on leave through the end of the year (to include a Disney Cruise!!).

I certainly haven’t forgot about you, have much to share to add value to the autism community and look forward to emptying my email box and catching up on things that I believe relevant to the growth and nurturing of our community.

In the meantime, I hope and pray that your holidays are spent in thanksgiving, are (remotely) peaceful ;-), and you are looking forward to a new, incredible 2012!

Be back with you soon!

God bless,

Mike

Transitions, Transitions

Well, the time has come for me to return from this deployment to Iraq. The war here is in its final weeks and my unit is one of the last still remaining in country. Soon enough I”ll back back in the good ‘ole USA!

With that comes a time of transition for me. It also will undoubtedly cause some delays in my ability to post new content here. I hope to maintain as best as I am able, but I have to imagine there may be a temporary drought. The transition back home, and then back to my loving family and exceptional boys will be a period of transition for all of us. This is the longest period ever where I have been away from them all. My youngest is now two and my oldest is about to turn 8!

I am so eager to get back home and nestle back into my role as husband, father and leader of my household. The next few years is going to be another stretch where there is more change and transition on our whole household. Potential moves to new districts, new professional and entrepreneurial endeavors, and the ever-dynamic challenges that living with autism brings on the pathway in autism.

Either way, I am excited and wouldn’t want it any differently!

Home here I come!

In Advocacy,

Mike

The Journey Of a Thousand Miles Begins With One Step

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao-Tzu

I don’t know what step our family is on now, but I know we’ve taken quite a few in the six years since our first son’s autism diagnosis. That first step of what to do next after the diagnosis was probably the hardest one we have taken. But, like starting any new project, hobby or interest such as physical fitness, for example, the beginning is always the toughest and most painful.

After just a few days your muscles are so woefully sore you begin to wonder how this could possibly be good for your health. Then after a few more weeks the pain starts to go away, and the slightest evidence of positive gain begins to appear. This empowers you to continue even further. After a few months the pounds are dropping, the tone is shaping up and your strength is making measurable gains. Your self-esteem starts to improve. Your wardrobe begins to change. Your attitude is now energetic and contagious to others. You have proven to yourself that dedicated effort with purpose even when the feat first appeared impossible is worth the painful beginning. You now know for a fact that with the experience you have gained so far that the positive progress will continue if you continue on the journey.

Just imagine if you never even took that first step.

Those first weeks will be just as terribly painful for the parent with a new autism diagnosis. But, with research into treatments, support from other parents who have already been what you are about to endure, and a dedicated focus on a better tomorrow for your child the journey will get easier.

But, you have to make those first steps. There is recovery. There is hope. It is worth it.

After a few years on the pathways in autism you’ll be able to look around, like us, and say, “We may not be where we want to be (in our boys’ development), but we sure aren’t where we used to be.”

God bless,

Mike