In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Annette introduces us to 23-year-old Ido Kedar and his mother Tracy. Ido wrote his first memoir, “Ido in Austismland: Climbing Out of Autism’s Silent Prison,” as a young teenager. The book has made a huge impact on the lives of people with autism and their families. It’s also successfully challenged members of the professional community to look at autism theories with fresh eyes. Ido spent the first seven years of his life locked in silence with no means to show his intelligence. Now, he communicates by typing on an iPad or keyboard and by pointing on a letter board.
Ido begins his interview with a powerful statement about his mother and the importance of having an advocate. Annette and Ido discuss how his mother Tracy’s persistence about his ability to understand words was an integral part of his journey to becoming a writer. Despite what medical professionals told her, she continued to push for opportunities for Ido to express himself.
Ido believes he was born a writer even though autism specialists didn’t think he could understand words for years. He was finally able to put his thoughts into writing at the age of 12 and published his first book, ”Ido in Autismland” just a few years later. The book consists of dozens of short, autobiographical essays offering new insights into autism symptoms, treatments, and the inner emotional life of a severely autistic boy. Ido challenges what he believes are misconceptions in many theories that dominate autism treatment today.
Later, Annette and Ido share more about his newest novel, “In Two Worlds.” The fictional story is about seven-year-old Anthony’s journey to discovery and freedom. The character can not speak or communicate his thoughts, and no one has any idea of his true intelligence. He’s locked inside himself, and this sharply divides his life between his inner and his external world. It’s not until Anthony turns 16 that a new teacher helps him discover how to communicate.
The young author also shares three important tips about living with autism. Number one, skills can improve with practice and determination if you just believe in yourself. Number two, if you’re on the journey towards communicating, let the world hear what you have to say. And number three, make peace with your diagnosis. You can’t change it, but you can accept it.
Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.