I am only a Mom Caring for Autism

March 25, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Barbara Lebo, MBA, BComm, CAAP, NIB, is CEO of Lebo Media Services, which she has owned and operated for 25 years. Married for 24 years, at age 52, she has a daughter of 13, a son of12, and a son of 7, Braeden, who lives with autism. She shares her personal story and explains the meaning the Episodes’ title, ‘I am only a Mom Caring for Autism’. She describes her role as Mom caring for Braeden. She discusses the challenges that he and she experience and explains the ways in which she responds to the challenges they both face. She discusses the most important types of help she needs, why the particular types of help so important, her experience in getting it, and the reasons that she sees for her experience. She says what more she wants to do and wants to see done generally and by the medical profession to help family caregivers caring for children living with autism, and to help their children. She shares her message to family-caregiver Moms caring for children living with autism.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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