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Blog Posted in avatar   T Gleichner's Blog

Interview with Tami Goldstein, author of 'Coming Through the Fog'

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By T Gleichner
Posted May 14, 2013 in Entertainment
This journey begins with a mother’s love for her daughter. After learning her daughter was on the Autism Spectrum Tami began to tirelessly educate herself in the sciences of: Behavioral Health, Child Psychology, Human Anatomy, Occupational Health, Pharmacology and Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has been a parent advocate for her daughter since 1997.
In 2002, as her knowledge and passion grew, Tami began reaching out to other families in need of help. In 2005, Tami founded the Rock County Autism Support Group and she is the community resource liaison for the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorders) Parent Connections Support Group of Rock County and the surrounding areas. Since 2005, Tami has been State and National Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and in 2013 she certified in CranioSacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute in Florida.
Tami currently has two offices where she facilitates CranioSacral Therapy. Approximately 38% of her clientele are children, teenagers and young adults on the Autism Spectrum or with other neuro-developmental delays. When asked to lecture, Tami uses her personal experience, extensive knowledge, and dedication to help others learn about and understand the medical and educational aspects of Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders and SPD.
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
“Coming Through the Fog” is the story of my daughter’s journey through High Functioning Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders to functioning Recovery and independent living.
Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?
My daughter’s occupational therapist had been encouraging me for years to write Heather’s story and it didn’t seem like the right time, but when Heather started looking to purchase her own home ( with grant money we helped her fine) I knew she had truly achieved Functioning Recovery. The time was right.
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
My daughter was my biggest inspiration. To watch her struggle and deteriorate was difficult and frightening, but to see her persevere and emerge into recovery was phenomenal. How could I not be inspired?
Who is your biggest supporter?
Heather. She knows what it took to get her where she is today and we walked her journey together.
Your biggest critic?
Well during the journey some doctors and educators. Now its myself to learn more and work harder so I can help more children.
What cause are you most passionate about and why?
I’m passionate about the fact that there no supports in many, many small towns and communities across the country. Achieving Functioning Recovery from Autism is expensive, time consuming and an emotional journey. Without access to therapies, money to pay for them and changes in educational requirements mandating the use of current evaluations and that doctor recommendations be followed, how will we help the 1 in 50 children that fall on the autism spectrum?
In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?
I finished writing ‘Coming Through the Fog” in November and I had a personal goal to become certified in CranioSacral Therapy prior to its publication. It took 8 years of education and training to become Certified in it, I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.
What is the most important thing in your life right now?
Family.
What are you currently working on?
I’m pretty busy. I have 2 offices where I facilitate and teach CranioSacral Therapy, I advocate for families for educational supports, I’m a community resource liaison for the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Parent Connections and I lecture on Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. My plate is pretty full.
Do you have any advice for writers or readers?
My motto is if you can dream it, you can make it a reality.
What are some of your long term goals?
I have been approached by other massage therapists and bodyworkers wanting more information about how I to work with the children on the Autism Spectrum so I am currently putting together , what I hope to be the start of a 2nd book, or continuing education classes in that area.
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as an author?
How well received it is in the Autism and Sensory Processing Community. I’m already getting positive feedback from parents who find my tips and recommendations very helpful
What do you feel is your biggest strength?
I’ve walked this walk. A parent on the journey is uniquely qualified to reach out to other parents. There is strength in numbers. It truly takes a village to raise our children.
Biggest weakness?
I’m too compassionate. I get emotional. I’ve had 2 children on the Spectrum speak after receiving CranioSacral Therapy. I cried right along with the parents.
What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?
What sets my book apart from other books in the same genre is we spell out the whole journey. Heather went from receiving a bleak prognosis at age 13 to thriving and living independently at age 26. I explain the effectiveness of the combination of therapies, to achieve functioning recovery, specifically building a sensory diet through occupational therapy, CranioSacral Therapy and Bio-Medical Supports. Covered are tips on how to appeal to your insurance to get occupational therapy, I included projective trials pertaining to the benefits of sensory supports., and an easy to follow explanation on what the controversy is between the medical and educational domain and how it affects our children. Whether it’s a parent looking for help and tips or a grandparent, aunt or uncle looking to understand a new diagnosis in their family, they will understand the journey
You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why?
Swiss Family Robinson, I’ll need the survival tips.
If you could go back and change one day, what would it be?
The day we had recommended vaccinations administered.
Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?
Yes, 5 years ago my husband and I were still arguing about whether Heather could live independently. My husband had decided he would just support Heather the rest of her life and I strongly disagreed. I felt she still had it in her to live independently and she wanted that, I had to be the one to push the situation. The conflict drove us back to counseling as a family. I gave Heather a month to agree to follow these rules; work 20 hours a week, pay rent or agree to do chores. If she did not agree she’d have to find somewhere else to live. My husband and son were angry with me as was Heather who refused to talk to me for weeks, unheard of then and has never happened since. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I cried over it, but Heather managed. Not in the way I would have but she managed as I knew in my gut she would. That separation changed me because it pushed me to have complete trust in my instincts. Imagine how different parents’ lives are when they are caring and supporting an adult child. Think of how different Heather’s life would be if she didn’t work and lived at home. It would take a few more years for her independent living to become a complete reality, but my gut was right she could do it! We just talked about it and she said she’s,” had the best year yet managing her sensory system.”
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?
All in your own time and all in your own way, life really is a journey!
Is there anything you regret doing/not doing?
I try not to look back. I accept I could have handled things differently at the time but I just try not to repeat the same mistakes. I was a mother looking to help her child, enough said.
What is your favorite past-time?
My favorite past-time is traveling. A child smiles the same in any culture.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
A portion of the profits from ‘Coming Through the Fog” will be donated to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation which promotes awareness of Sensory Processing Disorders. Every child with Autism has Sensory Processing Disorder.

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