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Autism Happy Kingdom

Thomais V. Moshopoulos was born in Athens, Greece in 2008. She was developing like any other kid but at 36 months she had a massive regression and autism became a part of her life. She loves dinosaurs, whales and at times she believes she’s an encyclopedia and loves to share what she’s learned. Thomais learned to read this year and is beyond thrilled with the greater discoveries she’s making, writing and illustrating her own book for starters.

How do you feel after your desperate move that drove you to take your daughter to Tampa Bay without her father's consent?

I am no longer desperate. My efforts and the support of many - particularly my daughter's father - have made it so. I am fully committed to creating quality of life for Thomais and guaranteeing her challenges and her diagnosis do not become the priority in our day to day. And long term, she will be capable of leading a meaningful and loving life, making decisions based on the power of being alive.

Why is the expression of emotions of children important? In which ways do you encourage your child (and other children) to do that?

Children, diagnosis or not, need to be urged to experience life in all its forms. Expressing emotions - all kinds, when felt, as they are felt - is vital to build a solid foundation that will have meaningful repercussions in their adult life. Understanding and acknowledging the definition of emotion is key - instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge - because children are pure instinct and their emotions must not be suppressed. Writing and art, in all its forms, are excellent ways to encourage the expression of emotions.

How do you deal and manage on a daily basis with the various misconceptions of autism? Which has been the most challenging problem as a parent?

I realize my daughter belongs to a different generation of individuals diagnosed with autism. The message I received when it was confirmed this unwanted visitor became a part of our lives - autism is medical, address the medical issues and your daughter will come back to life -- guides my present efforts to empower parents who have received different messages, recently or 20 years ago. I do not fight the misconception anymore. I respect everyone's journey and I simply show my daughter's videos and explain this was her in 2012 and this is her now. How did I do it? Those interested will ask how, others will not. I'm OK with that...

As a parent, the most challenging problem has always been behaving like a detective, police officer, counselor, psychologist, doctor, nurse, therapist, wrestler, patient mom at all times. It is all about being a parent of a child with a diagnosis and not about just being a parent. It has taken time to accept and seek the positive of life in this new reality.

What are the ways that you use to help your child to read and to spell?

Much credit must be given to her dad who for two years read and invented stories for at least two hours over the phone -- Also, with a diagnosis like dyslexia, the support of a professional is vital. We found an incredible tutor, knowledgeable in multisensory methodologies and how she could be taught how to learn. It was so hard because the tutor had to work on managing some of the autism and ADHD behaviors while instilling the power of reading and its far-reaching consequences.

How do you intend to fulfill Thomais' wishes?

Allowing Thomais be herself and leave the doors open as opportunities arise. She wants her story to become a movie and her skills, delights, discoveries, challenges as an individual with autism must be shown on T.V. I know she will make it happen!

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Autism Happy Kingdom Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:22:00 PM Rating: 5
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