April 20, 2012

Happy Autism Awareness Month!

In our house, every month is Autism Awareness Month.  Our sweet son, Justin, has full-blown autism and we are happy.  Not happy that he has autism, but thrilled with each and every one of his accomplishments.  For example, he can jump!  It took us over four years to teach him, but, by Golly, both of his feet can leave the ground.  Yay!  It may not seem like a huge accomplishment, but to us it means everything.

Justin went from jumping to running, and now participates as an equal member of our high school's track team.  When he runs, everyone cheers, even the parents who are rooting for the opposing team.   I cheer, and I cry.
If you know someone who works with children who have autism, thank them and consider giving them a hug and a cookie.  Hillary Clinton said, "It takes a village."  She wasn't kidding.

If you know a parent of a child or adult with autism, offer to give him or her a hand or make them a sandwich.  Be sure to mean it and be specific.  Not, "let's have lunch sometime," or "why don't I care for your child sometime so you and your beloved can have a break?"  Say something more like:

  • "How about if I come over this Friday or Saturday night and hang out with your child so that you can go out to dinner?  Which night works better for you?"  
  • Or, "We would like to take your son/daughter to (fill in the blank:  the movies, dinner, a walk, bowling, a football/baseball game, the mall, etc.) with our family.  Would Saturday work for you?"

We would like to thank Bryan and his family for including Justin in various community activities, including church and the movies.  It means more to us than you know.  Thank you, Bryan, Tim and Debbie.

We parents don't often talk about the stressors involved in raising a severely disabled child.  We just don't.  Not even with our closest friends.  Instead, we cook, eat, exercise, craft, garden, read, sing, laugh and, of course, dance in our socks in the kitchen.   

Happy Autism Awareness Month, from our family to yours.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.