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Apr 27

Autism Awareness

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As April is ending soon, so ends the month of autism awareness. It has caused me to think a lot about autism awareness. What does autism look like in my son? What does the awareness of autism mean to our family? How has this experience affected our family and how does it continue to impact communities and families throughout the world?

I saw all the pics on April 2 posted on social media with so many adults, children and teenagers showing support by wearing blue and pictures of buildings around the world lit up blue. I tried to be more active with everything this month. I participated in writing something for another friend’s blog and I made sure to text family to wear blue on April 2.  We had a charity garage sale event that family organized to help with the cost of Brody’s therapies. I have tried to post a lot more about autism this month and started a Facebook page for my blog.

I suppose my thoughts have been on this so much lately because I try to talk about the subject, share my feelings, and be an advocate and warrior for my son. I want others in my community, local and federal politicians, friends and family to care more. I tell myself, the more I help others see why it is important to care the more kindness, understanding and respect will exist in this world towards children like my son. Over the years, there have been heart-wrenching stories of mean letters given to parents complaining about their ‘loud’ disabled children. Extreme situations where a parent ends their life and the life of their disabled child because they feel they are out of options. Stories in the news about children being turned away from public school because they simply are too much ‘trouble’ to deal with. I hope that people strive to be kind and loving towards others whatever background or disability they have. I could be a part of helping the world be a better place because I know wholeheartedly how important kindness is. I feel like if I keep bugging people, signing petitions, posting, writing politicians and just not letting it go, people will realize that those with autism of all ages need services, research needs to be increased, departments in each state need a bigger budget and more professionals need to be hired, basically more help is needed for people with autism.

However, it is all a strange occurrence because I still go throughout my days as a mom. I am a simple person who lives in a simple house and I find joy in being a mother to my children. I play with Brody, I work with Brody, I take him to therapy, I send him off to school every day and I follow up with him on the prompting of tasks and good behaviors. We cuddle and I tickle him and he echoes my words, saying things like, “I love you Mommy.” Those bright eyes he looks at me with are the same from when he was just a baby. I wish I could lobby in Washington or at our state capital for change, I wish I was a talented speaker who could express what was needed to national organization. Instead, I am working in my home to help Brody talk, learn how to interact with those around him and learn about the world around him. I suppose I am finally realizing that as much as I want to dramatically beat down some doors for change on behalf of my son and others, my work with Brody is too important and there is too much work left to be done.

That is what autism is for me, for my son and my family. As for my community, I constantly hear and meet people who are quite amazing educators, parents and therapists who adore the children they work with and are quite talented with helping those with autism. As April is over, I will continue to bring daily autism awareness because it is still important and necessary. The larger lesson and bigger solution is for everyone to be kind and loving to all they meet!

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