Autism Awareness is one of several themes for the month of April. Today, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. It’s the specific day set aside that focuses on education, resources, information, help, and encouragement to those who are effected by autism.
This time last year I wrote about my sweet J! As I reread that post this morning I realized that I had no reason to write another personal account about autism. I still believe that their are blessings in having a child on the “spectrum”. That post can be found here http://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/02/autism-i-am-aware/
Today I asked my almost 11 year old, J , what was one thing that he would like the world to know about him. His answer was, “My mom makes mistakes”! And that is truth. I’ve made thousands of mistakes concerning him and I’m sure there will be thousands more. So many times it’s “trial and error” experimenting to figure out what strategies work with him regarding behavior, home schooling, relationships, therapies, and rules. And some solutions are successful for only a short time before experimenting starts up again.
Wanting a little more insight about possible answers to my question. I asked again, but to moms of autistic kids. These are some of the replies to the question, “What is one thing you would like the world to be aware of about autism and your child?”
“It’s so hard to narrow it down to one thing. There are so many things I wish the world would understand. I guess the biggest thing is he loves deeply and the things that come across as “weird” or “insensitive” or “immature” are just him trying to make sense of an incredibly confusing, overstimulating world that uses irony and sarcasm way too much. In reality, he is incredibly creative, intelligent, and empathetic beyond his years.“
“Mine would be that my son is not trying to be a smartie pants or disrespectful most of the time. He mimics responses like a recorder. Once we tell him what his remark means or comes across like, he wants to know what would be appropriate. Staring off is not ignoring, it is the way he thinks.”
“It is not a lack of discipline!”
“There is no box!”
“I think it is the simple fact that they want people to understand that they are just kids — yes they process things different, yes things that are not a big deal to some kids like tags on clothes is a huge deal to a kid on the spectrum, yes they have their quirks and their moments and their melt downs — however they are kids — they just want friends and not to be looked at like they are aliens and judged harshly —- they feel, they hurt, and they do not need your sympathy they just need your understanding.”
Below are some of my online picks for learning about autism and keeping up to date with current information.
I have a homeschool blogger friend, Sylvia, who shares many autism related articles including her lovely testimony of experiences with her daughter. This link will take you to her blog’s search results for her autism articles. http://www.faithfulmomof9.com/?s=autism&submit=Search
For better understanding of those labeled autistic, this is the most wonderful account I’ve ever seen! http://nhne-pulse.org/carly-fleischmann-autistic-girl-who-used-computer-to-ask-for-help/
This animated video was made by a boy who has autism. This is a great resource to share with our families and friends. http://blog.theautismsite.com/hi-im-david-and-i-have-autism/
And in case you’re interested, this link takes you to an online autism assessment/screening http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html
About autism… I’m “Still Learning Something New” daily!