Tim Welsh

Never Forget Tanner Welsh

C8B42A27-3FF8-4F9D-A468-A6CFE01C7EA9Today, Tim and Cheri Welsh are laying Tanner to rest in a private ceremony.  Please take a moment to remember Tanner. Below are the comments that came into our Facebook page. I thought it important to memorialize Tanner's impact during his too brief life. We love you, Tim and Cheri. 

R.I.P Tanner. My condolences to his loved ones. Here is a little poem I found some time ago. I really believe in its words.

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Without the trace of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval,
Somewhere very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland
Henry Scott Holland is best-known for his poem, ‘Death Is Nothing At All’ and his critiques of the Church of England. He published a few articles throughout his life and spent much of his free time writing. Often, his writing explores the daily struggle he observed on the streets of London. Read more of Henry Holland’s Biography.

I am sorry for your deep loss of Tanner. Praying for you for peace and comfort.

Thank you for your years of transparency in sharing his story.

My sincere condolences to Tanner's family. Prayers for your peace.

Continue reading "Never Forget Tanner Welsh" »

His Name Was TANNER.

B12B6906-B88E-443B-993D-1D8E7A09F558Please join us in offering condolences and empathy and sympathy and a primal scream to Tim and Cheri Welsh, whose son Tanner died yesterday.  Tim honored Tanner through hundreds of thousands of social media engagements. He was relentless in telling his son's story - so many of our kids' stories.  Tanner's last sentence before he stopped speaking was, "My name is Tanner." Remember him. His name was Tanner. We are so sorry, Tim and Cheri.


Catlin, Illinois – Tanner R. Welsh, 24, of Catlin, Illinois passed away at 8:04 am on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at the OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, Danville, Illinois. 

Tanner was born on November 25, 1997, in Garden City, Kansas to Timothy John and Cheri Lynn Finley Welsh.  They survive.  Also surviving are:  maternal grandmother:  Jean Finley of Catlin, Illinois; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents:  Leon and Margaret Welsh and his maternal grandfather:  Larry Finley.

Tanner enjoyed Beatles music and People magazine and was featured in the movie United States of Autism. 

Tanner’s family will gather for a private service at Robison Chapel, Catlin, Illinois officiated by Darren Johnson.  Burial will be at the Oakridge Cemetery, Catlin, Illinois.  Memorials to Danville AMBUCS, in care of Robison Chapel, Post Office Box 79, Catlin, Illinois 61817.  Online condolences www.robisonchapel.com.

Frustration Lasts Long After April

Bang-head-hereBy Tim Welsh

I once was so full of myself, arrogant and prideful that I believed hook line and sinker the advertising propaganda  sold to us that carrying an American Express Card for 20 years made me a better person. 


Then one day the bottom fell out of my world Lost resources, bills stacking up and mortgages to pay. I can’t relate how fast those that said “I was a member” ran away. We had to fight back to solvency by ourselves. Nobody understood the depths of our financial despair. Even if they did, they had their own issues and could not really make a difference. 


I tell you this testimony, not to pick on American Express or shame a society that turned its back at one of my lowest times in life. I relate it as something you might relate to. Hopefully, you will take it literally and not over extend yourself financially. The bigger picture, I really hope to convey is about the health of your baby and family.

Continue reading "Frustration Lasts Long After April" »

Holiday Small #B1Less Vaccines Education Miracles

Teachable-momentsBy Tim Welsh

I went to local car repair shop to get a flat tire fixed and get replacement tires. I asked the young receptionist if she had any children. She related she had three. Oh wow, I said I bet that's a handful. How old are they? She gave me the ages. I said Do you get overwhelmed but the number of vaccines they push? She said yes and the two year old was due.

I covered the Great Grandma got two shots Fully Vaccinated Grandma got Seven fully Vaccinated, you probably got about 7 and your son can expect to get 59 doses before school and 300+ in development. I told her the 3 second version of Tanner's regression after vaccines. Just then my spare tire was on, my phone rang her phone rang, paid bill and my phone rang again. I did not get to finish the moment.

I drove all the way home and realized I did not have my phone cover. I was sure I left it on the waiting room table in all the commotion. I drove back and looked around, it was not there.

I said to the receptionist, Did you see my phone cover. she said no. I said I guess I am supposed to finish my story. Think S.H.O.T.S Single Better Heavier Better Older Better Never with Tylenol Never when Sick. She grabbed a note book asked me to repeat and explain each. She took notes and told me Thank You Tim.

Today I may have saved a child. It is a feeling better than Coffee. Try it and Tell me your #B1Less Small miracle so I can share and save more babies. 

Tim Welsh is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.  He is active on Social Media as @TannersDad.

Tanner's Dad on Temple: Thumbs Down

Thumbs downBy Tim Welsh

I have never endured a more simplistic, ignorant, offensive and out of touch speech about Autism than I heard tonight. Professor Grandin spoke at a fundraiser for The Autism Society on the Campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana. Many groupies worshipped at the alter of Temple. They hung on every word as she spewed basically what when looking through today's lens was hate speech and bullying in my opinion.

We were transported back to the Leave it to Beaver years with tales about family Dinners, and Miss Manners classes to solve the Autism crisis. Dr. Grandin declared the age of video games and coddling parents caused our current situation. I was picturing this insult to parents as being similar to that of Psychiatrists labeling the refrigerator Mothers in the 1950s.

Only two brave souls were brave enough to broach the subject of causation. An older gentleman asked Temple "How is it that Autism has gone from 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 100?" Dr Grandin responded with stories about the weird people back in the day and now it is better Awareness. 

Continue reading "Tanner's Dad on Temple: Thumbs Down" »

Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe Parent Review

By Tim Welsh (Tannner's Dad)

I was blessed to be one of the first to see this movie premiering TODAY in New York City at the Angelika Film Center. It was a riveting roller coaster for those with their eyes and minds open to the possibility that greed and corruption at the Centers for Disease Control may have built over years. Each lie for the "Greater Good" laying a deeper foundation of receipt. The only way  justice can be done for this film is to recommend EVERYONE see it for themselves. I have seen, been involved in production and marketing dozens of Autism documentaries and this by far is rated a "must see".
 Before I unpack this let me disclose that:
I am a parent of a vaccine injured child. 
I am not in any way shape or form a medical professional.
I have not been paid to write this review. 
I am a British Citizen who resides in Illinois. 
I have been studying Autism and advocating for better health for all for fourteen years. 
I am a contributing editor at The Age of Autism Age of Autism dot com.  
I am behind #CDCwhistleblower.
I am biased but not bought.
I wish I had seen it...before.
Things to take into this movie . 1. Tissues. Yes humans attending this movie will be moved. Dramatic and graphic yet not over the top. 2. An open mind. For those new to the Vaccine Safety world there will be a lot that forces you to come face to face with a lot of your programmed beliefs about the medical establishment, doctors and pharmaceutical business practices. 3. Bring a Friend. I was shaking and crying and needed a hand to hold and hug when it was over.

Continue reading "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe Parent Review" »

We will Never be Your CNN Hero

Local heroesBy Tim Welsh

There is a group that shakes up and scares establishment to its core. These people are miners, dreamers, idealists and warriors. They dig deeper, make bigger wishes, expect more and fight longer. We are activists.

When there is war we don't just shelter the refugees, we ask why they are fleeing. When there are injured we don't just patch wounds, we ask what is the source of conflict. When communities are frustrated by ignorance we seek to educate. When we see sick children we  don't just raise money for gifts we give the CDC Fits.

I applaud the work of your "Heroes". I see their Herculean efforts against incredible odds. Their stories bring tears to eyes and many big sighs.  Our world would be darker, the outlook much starker and many a marker still owed with out them.

When the work is done though, the red carpet walked, the votes tallied, the audience rallied , the big plaques handed out and the devotions thrown about I hope you realize that sometimes we must do more than shout. Those who question, deflect rejection, and see the imperfection that avoids detection must be sought out. If real change is desired financial ties must be fired and corruption in which we are mired, must be retired.

 I just scribbled this fast, Not something that will last. It's just something I hope you don't zip past. I am sorry that I made a stink, it's time we all think. Humans could be gone in a blink. We are activists.

@TannersDad Tim Welsh


Tim Welsh "Tanner's Dad" on Mumps Outbreaks

Tim Tanner Autism SignManaging Editor's Note: Age of Autism's Tim Welsh was featured on ABC 20 i Springfield, Illinois regarding a Mumps outbreak. Note the headline and the ubiqutious "Anti-vaccine" label... 

Special Report: Mumps Outbreak and the Anti-Vaccination Movement

You've been hearing about it time and again--the mumps and the measles. Those in the medical community say vaccines have the ability to stamp them out. But recently, these viruses and others are increasing.

In a county of 36,000 people, there is an outbreak of a rare virus.

"Illinois generally has 30 to 40 cases a year. We have 40 cases in Morgan County currently," Morgan County Health Department Administrator Dale Bainter said.

Cases of the mumps, which doctors say is spread by coughing or sneezing.

It's difficult to pinpoint how the outbreak actually started in Morgan County.

"You never know if it was someone traveling in from another state, traveling in from another country," Bainter said.

Or perhaps the outbreak started somewhere much closer to home.

"We do not require vaccination documentation for our employees," Jacksonville School District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek said.

Continue reading "Tim Welsh "Tanner's Dad" on Mumps Outbreaks" »

Plus Ca Change: The Oil Spill Called Autism

Oil spill
By Tim Welsh

After the 2010 1 in 88 autism prevalennce announcement and the Gulf Oil Spill I posted this re-written version of President Obama's speech as if he was talking about autism and not the oil to CNN Ireport but only got 30 views.

It is amazing how few words I had to change in the President's speech and how relevant this is after the 2014 CDC's 1 in 68 prevalence announcement.

Take five minutes to imagine if every line of this was implemented...

 Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges, and tonight I want to speak Plus ca change with you about the battle we are waging against Autism, an epidemic that is assaulting our citizens nationwide, as well as those worldwide.

Because there has never been an epidemic of this kind, of this size, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That’s why I have assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and doctors to tackle this challenge. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia have also provided ideas and advice.

As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed the NIH, CDC, and the pharmaceuticals to mobilize additional people, equipment, and technology. And in the coming weeks and months, these efforts should clean up the toxins and delivery methods in 90% of all vaccinations and medicines administered in this country. This is until they find the cause, and stop this epidemic completely.

Already, Autism is the worst neuro-biological disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The damage caused by this epidemic, is one we will be fighting for years and years.

But make no mistake: We will fight this with everything we’ve got, for as long as it takes. We will make the pharmaceuticals pay for the damages their companies have caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help our citizens recover from this tragedy that we have caused.

Tonight, I’d like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what were doing to clean up vaccinations, what we’re doing to help our children, and what we’re doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.

First the cleanup:

We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across the country to remove vaccinations and medicines that contain toxins. But we have to recognize that, despite our best efforts, Autism has caused devastating damage to our citizens. And sadly, no matter how effective our response is, there will be more Autism and more damage before this siege is done.

Continue reading "Plus Ca Change: The Oil Spill Called Autism" »

Autism & Asperger's Discrimination, Isolation, a Difference, Bad Luck or Attitude.

Heart dignityBy Tim Welsh

I have felt the brunt of bullies, abuse, and discrimination throughout my life. About a dozen examples come to mind. These are all life changing and not in the garden variety restaurant or grocery store nasty comment or glare.  Now before I get started let me say although I see heredity at play in our family my Grandfather, Father and myself fall into the "just a little different" category and have never been diagnosed formally as being on the autism spectrum. I would say we all were autism level 0. The category of those that can contribute without assistance but are on the outside of the social mainstream.

I am bringing up these five situations just to give examples of what those on the spectrum may face and not be able to defend for themselves. At some point we will have to address these issues for parents and adults on the spectrum. The original title I had for this piece was "What does discrimination towards parents and those on the Autism spectrum look like?" I thought about it and wanted to make sure that you understand that I take full responsibility for getting myself into these situations. Although, in each one Judges, adjudicators and counselors have found that I had reason to suspect discrimination.

The five situations can be broadly described in the following way. 1. Emotional reflection of a manager and outburst. 2. Lack of sleep impacting job performance / Not taking family needed family time. 3. Removal from a non-profit board after phone meltdown. 4. Denial of Positon / Does not meet "Requirements" 5. Taking things literally - Whistle-blowing. Reporting demeaning behavior and crude jokes in the workplace.

Imagine yourself in a closed door, private employee meeting. Described by the manager as a "Come to Jesus" sales meeting. A very aggressive manager has 8 of us cornered and is screaming at us. I counted the "F - bomb" being dropped 15 times. I was uncomfortable being in very close quarters to my peers.  I analyzed  and agonized over every word over and over and each personal attack hurt more. After personal confrontation and rule changes I was very frustrated. So at my breaking point I lets loose in reflection with a "Grow some F***ing Balls." Immediately the room was cleared and I was let go from the company. To this day I do not understand why others can cuss all day and I drop one "F -Bomb" and I get censured.

Continue reading "Autism & Asperger's Discrimination, Isolation, a Difference, Bad Luck or Attitude." »

CONTEST: Write the 125,000th Autism Tweet from @TannersDad

TannersDad Twitter

By Tim Welsh

125,000 tweets for our families. What would you say? @TannersDad Contest / Request

This weekend I will reach the milestone of 125,000 tweets for Autism Action as @TannersDad. I would like to open the floor up to our Age of Autism family to pen that tweet.

I will chose the best of the best comments on this post. Feel free to share on Facebook, groups and other formats. It will be the winners choice to be anonymous or credited. I like for milestone tweets to me moving monumental and personal. Who, what where, when and how has the Autism vaccine injury environmental crisis impacted your family. Call them to action. Call them to task. Your best in 100 - 110 characters.

Your Life is your Life

Track warningThe process of living involves risk. We are not given a map to plot our course from birth to death. Nobody can answer the question for you "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Although, many will try to guide you, they do not have a crystal ball into the inner workings of your mind, marriage and family. I wanted to explore an area that seems to be ignored when we are talking about being a parent dealing with a child with Special Needs specifically Autism, the recent ups and downs of the economy, our careers, and ego.

For many years, a source of embarrassment in interviews was the number of jobs I have held. This morning I went back to my full resume and counted. Since I was 16, I have worked for 20 different companies. I was so concerned about this I had a professional job coach evaluate my resume. I was taught I was supposed to list everything on this document. He came back with Tim "Just add the word "Relevant" to the experience heading" He then proceeded to tell me only to list the 4 to 6 jobs that made me the perfect candidate for the position I was applying for. Amazingly, the next job I applied for I got.

For many people their identity is intertwined with their chosen career. In the past it seemed this was more of a male gender specific issue but recently I have noticed that females are becoming as attached to this identification. I will always remember a sad situation where a relative was suffering from Alzheimer's. The only family member he regularly remembered was me and he identified me as the "Penney Man".  My longest stint with one company was 16 1/2 years with JCPenney Department Stores.  This identification with my career was a constant gnawing on my soul. Is that what will be etched onto my tomb stone?

Continue reading "Your Life is your Life" »

New to Autism Diagnosis - Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Autism SOSBy Tim Welsh

One of the most frequent questions I get being on the front lines of social media is " My child just got a diagnosis of autism, now what?" This is where I offer a disclaimer. If you are still fragile and faint of heart you may want to pass on reading this post. I am happy to consult with you in a more gentle and private way if you give me a call, direct message me via twitter or Facebook . This blog is intended to give those that have already strapped on their warrior armor and seriously ready to go to battle this is the boot camp overview.

I would much rather somebody tell me the truth day one, than string me along. We often say you meet one individual with autism, you have seen one version of autism. The same goes for treatments, services and support plans. There is one major wrench though, your geographic location plays a huge role in what is available and how to proceed. I am going to give you the mile high version as I see it. I would love for others to jump in and correct me if they feel something is  incorrect or missing.

Once your loved one gets the diagnosis you will be pointed in a few different directions. Within the medical system you will be directed towards therapy at the lowest and most basic levels. They will offer up vitamins, minimal speech, occupational , and maybe physical therapy. This of course depends on your state laws and your personal insurance program. The educational system will offer some basic instruction. Usually this is along the lines of PEC (Picture exchange communication system) Discrete trial training, Floortime, Play or modified ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis)

When you pose the question to the general public. You will first be pointed towards Autism Speaks. They offer a 100 day kit which outlines what to expect and the major national service organizations. If you are lucky in residing in a geographic location supported by these systems there may be resources available to your family. I have reviewed a number of versions of the kit, little applied to rural areas, and very little focus is provided on getting started with biomedical intervention.

Continue reading "New to Autism Diagnosis - Follow the Yellow Brick Road" »

Imagine the Feelings

Tim Tanner Autism Sign

By Tim Welsh

I try to find ways to communicate parents, siblings, caregivers, extended family and individuals on the Autism Spectrum experience and feelings about ASD through examples and quotes. For years now, I have used the Hashtag #FAY Feel Autism Yet? to organize and highlight these quotes from around the world and share on social media. I think the Olympics gives us examples of how different our lives are. This blog will explore and discuss just one example of the hopes, fears, dreams and lives we lead using a sports analogy.

Shaun White is an amazing Multi medal winning Olympic athlete. For the majority of his career it has been said he has shown no fear. He participates in one of the newer Olympic events, snow boarding. He was sent to Sochi Russia to represent the United States and hopefully bring home two medals in 2014. The conditions and course were so extreme in one of his events that at about 24 hours before the event he pulled out and did not compete.

I have been thinking about this for a few days. Our lives take many unpredictable twists and turns. Some are more predictable and avoidable than others. Snow boarding is a young  persons game. I do not presume to tell Shaun White how to live his life but as a snowboarder he is considered the OG ( old guard ) now. Others just like in the military, are young enough not to question the danger that may be lurking on the other side of the hill and will follow the order to charge.

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Autism Speaks and Avonte. Open Barn Door. Smack Cow on Ass. Buy Door Alarms.

Light it up marie antioinette autism speaks A Gamondes

This week Liz Feld of Autism Speaks appeared on Katie Couric to talk about Avonte Oquendo's wandering, disappearance and death. This precious boy, a mother's son,  died in The East River. I don't know if Avonte could swim or not. But if you fall into a large body of water in the chill of a New York October (he eloped from school due to lack of proper supervision on Friday, October 4) swimming is kind of the least of your worries.  Michael Phelps probably would not have survived the fall, the splash, the panic and then trying to find a safe place to get OUT of the river. Note - this was not the pool at the Harvard Club, it was the dark, murky East River. 

Autism Speaks is backing swimming lessons for our children. Really? After months of Avonte's disappearance - some folks affiliated with AS put together a terrific reward for his return - and that was great - but swimming lessons?  THAT'S their response? 

Our Contributing Editor Tim Welsh Tweeted:

TannersDad Tim @TannersDad
40+ children die from wandering in the last couple of years and no sense of urgency to deal with Autism. Swimming lessons? really no really?

TannersDad Tim @TannersDad
@LizFeld_AS @katiecouric Swimming Lessons?

And our Contributing Editor Adriana Gamondes created the Marie Antoinette graphic meme to show the disconnect of the effort.

I've often said Autism Speaks' role for the community - the flesh and blood people dealing with the challenges of autism - is akin to watching our kids get killed crossing a highway and instead of building fences to protect them, Autism Speaks raises funds on the backs of the very same families to purchase Mercedes Benz ambulances to whisk the kids off to their own hospitals.   The cow has left the barn, so to speak.

A Friend's Ear

Take What you NeedBy Tim Welsh

(Note: I was not on drugs  when I wrote this, Just a little sleep deprived this week.)

There is Fantasy, Reality Show Reality, Getting By and Truth. Since Tanner's diagnosis with profound regressive Autism and Epilepsy, my two heart attacks at 38 and the dawning of the social media age, we have lived much of our lives in that Fantasy / Reality Show Reality world. Today I am blessed to have the opportunity to peel back a few of the layers and expose a little about our situation in the Getting By and Truth categories.

There is a multitude of reasons why most of us reside in the first two. It is easier, more comfortable, less stressful and politically correct. Many of us live in the fear of losing a job or being embarrassed by admitting what is really going on behind our castle walls. This sleep walking and defensive shields are both coping mechanisms and a way of keeping the masses in line. If we compare notes and rise up, the powers that be would have to address our situations.

Part of my fantasy world is the dream of one day being a well respected Author, Journalist, Advocate, Health and Freedom Fighter. To that end, I have studied journalism and tried to get into it with the uniform (hat, worn out notebook and big bold Press pass). I quickly learned to be a "Professional Journalist" the reports must be detached and distant from our current situation. Absolutely, I found out the reports cannot be about myself.

Many times I have put pen to paper, writing in my humble opinion that pompous third person billowing about things as though I have an omnipotent eye. Well sorry, I can't do that. The closest I came was a blog I had prepared about the juxtaposition of a huge mansion and party versus the impending foreclosure and eviction of the family. It really was surreal attending one of the most glamorous events in the largest house I had ever been too. All the while everybody was whispering about the Sherif's notice being processed right as the DJ fired up the lights and music. This is an example of living in the fantasy world for both home owner and this reporter.

Continue reading "A Friend's Ear" »

Tanner's Dad: A Failed Experiment

Tanner's Dad obamaBy Tim Welsh

 One of the things I have most admired about Age of Autism is its political neutrality over the years. I know that Autism crosses every boundary. I have met and become friends with rich and poor, every ethnicity, every profession and people with every political persuasion.

The blog today is a biographical because I feel I need to convey my unusual perspective. I also find myself at a crossroad of life. I believed. I hoped. I dreamed. So I am going to delve into the thing we are not suppose to talk about at the supper table when we have guests over,  Politics.

Honestly I am just a really mixed up and confused individual. I am proud of the fact that I was on the #TCOT (Top Conservatives on Twitter) List top 150. At the same time I was working very hard for President Obama's administration to pass the Affordable Care Act. I even got a certificate and personal letter thanking me for my efforts. Both of these are incredible since I was born in Australia to British parents, lived in Canada, raised in Iowa and still have a British passport.

I now reside just outside a small village downstate Illinois. I often tweet about #RealFarmers and the fact the view as far as the eye can see out my front windows is bean and cornfields. This area is as Conservative Bible belt White as any in the Nation. Picture Mayberry Rural Fire District complete with Andy, Opie and Aunt Bee. If I were to have a second perseveration, beyond the study of Autism, I enjoy politics. By all measures, outwardly I appear to be a conservative, non denominational Christian business owner insisting on individual responsibility accountability and smaller Government.

Now this is where the story gets a little convoluted.  I am not sure about the facts my Father was a story teller and embellished for dramatic purposes. This is what i was told and heard told many times over and over. My Father was born into a upper middle class family and actually attended private school with Royalty in the UK. He was born in Swanage at the Southern end of the country and spoke with a rather sophisticated accent from the south. My mother was from the rougher side of the tracks. Cockney true London accent. Her family was bombed out of their house during WWII and the Children farmed out to the North. My Grandfather invented a machine that made the fuel lines for planes and towards the end of the war had to keep it running all the time. It blew up and injured my Grandfather quite severely. Enough, that it caused my Father to be apprenticed to the local  foundry. This is how he crossed paths with my mother.

Continue reading "Tanner's Dad: A Failed Experiment" »

Tanner's Dad: Why Some React Differently

RouletteBy Tim Welsh

Autism explained: Tell me why some do, some don't, and why some react differently.

Have you ever experienced a Bee or Wasp sting? One of the questions I get asked often is "If it is the vaccines causing Autism, how come all or more children don't get it?" This is a true story from my youth. I believe it puts into perspective graphically what I believe happens and may help you when you are answering questions like this. Some details may be a little fuzzy because this was close to 35 years ago, but I think you will realize how much an impact it had on my life to be as vivid and long.

During summer vacation as I was growing up I was given the opportunity to go away for  camp. I was able to venture forth from just a couple of days to over a month. I had many varried experiences. Soccer camp in the UK. Liberal Religious Youth camp on the other side of San Francisco Bay. Boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada. YMCA, Boy Scouts and Even Girl Scouts Camp. My Mother was a troop leader and I got to tag along. I guess that is something I need to talk to my therapist about.

One year about Christmas time, I got in my head that I wanted to learn how to ride horses. After a few months of research we found a suitable camp about three hours from where we lived. The deposit paid. Long supply checklist received,  anticipation and excitement mounted. Two whole weeks on a real western dude ranch! Trail rides, camp fires, Lake swimming, hiking, Singing, and Girls / Coed! Oh My! Heaven for a teen.

Continue reading "Tanner's Dad: Why Some React Differently" »

A Father's View - Adding Insult to Injury.

TW carBy Tim Welsh

This week I saw news about many tragic accidents that killed,  injured and  hospitalized people. These accidents were due to weather conditions. Although the Police did ticket a few for going to fast for conditions  and some other minor infractions in my opinion they did not cause the situations. Given the horrific winter weather this year this fictional  scenario could have happened in any state. If the story ended here these were tragic situations that would have injured and altered lives for years.

What happens next in the preparation for memorial services is what we call arm chair quarterbacking. Why didn't you listen to weather news? Why did you take that route? Why were you going so fast? By far the worst, Why did you swerve left? These blame drivers and where there was a loss of life add insult to injury that will never be forgotten. Why do we do this? When we do, we hurt our friends and loved ones again. After experiencing some of these comments it got the wheels turning how many times and different ways does the families dealing with Autism see this? Most of the time the public have no idea how they insult, injure, push and turn the knife deeper.

The list of insults grows everyday. I do not know of any family that has not experienced some of these. To understand, manage, and write about some I have divided them into seven categories. In no particular order: 1. Social Situations 2. Things we say to ourselves / Spouses. 3. Government propaganda 4. Educational environment 5. Medical Establishment 6. Relatives and Friends. 7. Community Politics.  I am sure as we explore this topic there are more. I will briefly touch on a few that I see play out often, in hopes to comfort the old guard and warn the new to ASD diagnosis.

Social Situations: We live it, hear it and see it everyday. Those looks, comments and whispers in the grocery store, at church, restaurants or waiting in line. It is crazy, but you will hear comments from people you don't even know. Trust me overtime it does get easier. In the last decade people have learned a lot. New focus on Bullying and general behavior has removed some the poor treatment but there are still many ignorant individuals. Manage your energy. If I could go back to my first few years after getting the diagnosis, I would tell myself not to let those comments ruin my day. I would also say live, learn, teach, and grow but protect yourself. It is ok to ignore the ignorant sometimes. You do not have to educate the entire world all the time.

Things we say to ourselves and Spouses. I think this is one of the toughest to deal with. Many times this is where we echo something that was said or we start believing the ever expanding landscape of media propaganda. My advice here is be kind to one another. It is easy to kick and blame yourself. You will hear this often from the OG (Old Guard) Autism is a marathon not a sprint.

Government Propaganda - Many times this falls into trusting and getting our hopes too high. A young energetic man from outside the beltway promising if elected President to put in place a National level coordinator to deal with Autism. This ASD Czar would have power to effect real change. An Inter agency coordinating committee, a hearing of Congress, a promise of researching the Somali Minnesota anomaly and the list goes on. All giving lip service to prioritization, urgency, and action but yet nothing happens.

Continue reading "A Father's View - Adding Insult to Injury." »

Lessons Learned from Failure.

Autism Friendly BusinessBy Tim Welsh

One of the most difficult things I think for people to do is analyze and come clean publicly when it comes to failure. I had two major failures that I will be putting to bed in 2014. I had great intentions, great plans, and most of the people involved were angels. Although there  was one major of devil. I am not sure if it is because I am so passionate to move mountains that sometimes I trust the wrong people. In this blog I will review the two projects and hopefully we can learn some lessons together.

The first project was Autism Friendly Business. This for profit venture was put together to teach businesses how to deal with the many new customer service situations arising from the aging of the population dealing with Autism. We provided an assessment of a businesses knowledge about ASD, provided recognition, tools and marketing to raise their level of service for those on the spectrum, those with special needs and all customers. We tried numerous levels of membership but ultimately the business climate was such that very few progressive forward looking entities took advantage of our services.

We actively supported with social media those businesses that expressed  a desire to learn and Autism Aidgrow with us. We were able to get a number of sign ups from very small to mega corporations. Of course, doing a start up with next to no operating capital and a team spread coast to coast is a little crazy. All of us dealing with loved ones on the spectrum, loss of jobs, injuries to spouses, elderly parents and much more. Bottom line this model was ahead of its time and it's time may never come. I would love to visit with anybody thinking that they can set up a for profit in this sector. Attacks came from many naysayers and individuals who I assumed would be supportive. You learn a lot about the psychology of your peers when you try to make a living here.

Continue reading "Lessons Learned from Failure." »

Welcome Tim Welsh "Tanner's Dad" To Age of Autism

Tanners Dad Logo
Managing Editor's Note: We are pleased to announce that Tim Welsh, whom you know as Tanner's Dad is now a contributing editor.   Please follow him on Twitter @TannersDad.

Welcome.....  KS

By Tim Welsh

We are advocating during a time of great stress and strain on our families. Some advocates are stepping away to refuel, retool and reset their priorities. I have chosen to dig  deeper, push harder and go back to my roots of blogging the issues that face families, fathers and folks who are dealing with individuals with the greatest deficits due to Autism. It is not an easy road but I believe Age of Autism is the vehicle that is blazing a trail that history will show is the right one to follow.

Writing an introduction to the community is difficult. I have been an advocate for the community for over a decade now. I know that I have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing teams and witnessed a few miracles. I hate to sound boastful at the rehashing of the accomplishments. Suffice it to say, if you want to revisit history Google: TannersDad Autism Tim Welsh. I have over 1000 bylines and more than 120,000 tweets to my credit. I believe in general twitter can be a waste of time but for our families it has produced many grants, a few vehicles, money, and a movie. Even a rock anthem "Vaccine Epidemic" thanks to The Refusers written about Tanner and I.

I approached Mark, Kim and Dan with a request to join the team. I have taken two years off from blogging. During the last two years I was active on twitter and helping promote and coordinate showings of the documentary "The United States of Autism". This film features many of the Age of Autism family. I believe our message and story will reach the masses in this travel log visiting many individuals with different points of view of Autism. Even though I requested that I join this spring they graciously welcomed me with open arms and asked me to join in a New Years announcement.

I hope I can research and present stories you are interested in. Tanner is now 16 still non verbal and level 3 needing care around the clock. We have had a year of dealing with seizures and epilepsy. We are still trying to understand and address gut issues in the wilderness of downstate Illinois. I have always tried to stay above the fray of community politics but I am not afraid to confront, question and demand respect and services for our loved ones. I am married to Cheri approaching 30 years. She keeps me grounded and always points out there is so much more to do for Tanner and our loved ones.

Finally I just want to praise you in how ever you have chosen to fight. I pray daily for your family and the community. I hope that 2014 is a year of growth, results and action. I believe we have seen enough of the color blue and puzzle pieces. It is time to see action and results. Please feel free to call, tweet or email me with any concerns, questions or story ideas or feedback. Happy New Year and God Bless - TannersDad Tim Welsh Autism and Health Advocate.

Tim Welsher TannerTim Welsh, is one of the most active and influential Parent Advocates for Autism. Avid Speaker, blogger, and Tweeter (@TannersDad). Tim works to build unity within the Autism community, Gain Insurance coverage reform, End Restraint & Seclusion, Advocate for services, prevent wandering and much more. Tim & his wife Cheri have one son Tanner (16).

Favorite tweet…
“I have a son he has autism, but, I also have dream. I dare dream of a world where profound regressive autism is not only treatable, but is also preventable”