Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Reminders

April is the officially Autism Awareness Month.  Autism Speaks helped shine a light on autism by "Lighting it Blue' on over 1,000 buildings around the world.  I've received lots of information on my Facebook page.  Celebrities are helping to spread the word as well.

But, every family that is touched by autism, awareness is not limited to one month out of the year.  For us, autism awareness is a constant state of being, something you wake up to every morning and go to sleep with every night.  To say that we're aware of autism feels to me like a bit of an understatement.  It's more like we're constantly reminded of autism.  All the time.

In the 13 years since Jacob was diagnosed, I have been reminded of autism in many, many different ways.

When he lined up his Thomas the Tank Engine trains up in a neat row, train after train after train.

When he ignored the entertainment at a birthday party and retreated to quietness of the host's bedroom.

When he would sprint away with hardly a moment's notice when we were out in public.

When were judged by anyone within eye sight when he was misbehaving because he was overwhelmed due to his sensory issues.

When I saw that he had difficulty making and maintaining friendships.

When I got the speech therapy invoice at the end of the month and realized how expensive it was.

When my family pretty much ignored him and lent us no emotional or financial support because they didn't truly understand or accept that he had a disability.

When I had to closely monitor him at the indoor gym so I could intervene if another child bullied or picked on him.

When I had to speak to his one-on-one classroom aide each day to see if he had a great day, not so great day or extremely difficult day.

When I had to coordinate the schedule of Jacob's therapists so they were available to attend his annual IEP meeting.

When I couldn't accept a full-time job because he needed me to take him to appointments, play with him when he got home from school or most importantly to be present in his life because no one else would have the same dedication as I would.

Yes, I am autism aware because I have been reminded of it every day for the last 13 years.  And for parents like me who also have a child with autism, we are never not-aware.






1 comment:

  1. I hear you on this. My son is about to turn three, and was only officially diagnosed 6 months ago... but I so empathize what you go through. And you are right, autism awareness needs to be every day and not just the month of April.

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