I am impressed with Lisa Ackerman, director of TACA and with the volunteers I met at the head office. They are focused and well organized. It's all about helping parents on the ground, on a day to day basis. I attended one of their conferences and spoke to parents there who were so grateful for the support they are getting. It's really amazing how much they are doing on a small budget.
I am a pediatrician and have been helping families with autism negotiate the confusing world of treatment options for over 10 years now. I am privileged to work in the same area where TACA first got its start, and was at one of the very first physician information meetings. Since that time, I have referred hundreds of families to TACA. There's nothing like an experienced TACA mentor parent to help guide a newly-diagnosed family through the maze of therapies and local school services. I can concentrate on the medical side of autism therapy, and put my patients in the very capable hands of TACA to guide them through everything else. From marriage counseling to legal information, from dietary and nutrional advice to playdates and coffee-talk gatherings, from social events and carnivals to medical conferences, TACA offers hands-on support through local chapters nationwide. TACA is, without exception, the most effective support group for families with autism and I will continue to work closely with them and refers all my patients to them for years to come.
As a scientist, clinician and author of book for parents and the general public called THE AUTISM REVOLUTION: Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be (Harvard Health Publications/Random House) that explains the science behind practical, low-risk intervention strategies, I have thought long and hard about how best to address autism under the present circumstances, and it is my considered opinion that TACA cuts to the heart of the matter by offering parent-to-parent mentoring that can help parents find and actually implement thoughtful approaches for their own children. Autism has been called an enigma, a puzzle, a tragedy, a catastrophe and more. There is no broad consensus on its causes or cures. Yet many practical things can be done with knowledge we have right now. I hope the day comes soon when these approaches become part of a more concerted public health program to optimize the health and function of at risk and vulnerable children now. TACA is a model for making real, practical progress in the trenches in complicated chronic and neurodevelopmental conditions.