Hello all! Welcome to April…..Autism Awareness Month! And today, April 2nd, is actually set aside as World Autism Awareness Day! A day where we celebrate those who are “different but not less” and attempt to bring global awareness to this epidemic developmental disorder! Autism Speaks, the most high profile organization fighting for our cause, has a global campaign in place called “Light It Up Blue.” So, today all over the world there are 7,000 landmarks and buildings, including the Empire State Building, that will be lit up in the color blue to honor and celebrate those individuals affected. And to show their support for the cause. These 7,000 places are in 90 different countries, 750 cities, and on 7 continents! IS THAT AMAZING OR WHAT??!!
I wanted to post our story once again to remind you all why this blog exists. Tell you more about the little boy who inspired it. And share about the journey that was set in motion……and is continuing today. You have my permission to share this with trusted friends. I want our story to give people a glimpse. A glimpse of how this can happen, the toll that it takes, and the ongoing struggle. Not so that you can pity us. Pity helps no one. Awareness and empathy will get us everywhere. See…..pity stops short of progress. It gets too caught up in the tough parts that are inevitable and/or overwhelming with Autism. Empathy leads to understanding. Understanding of the journey and ideas that can fuel change, progress, and support for individuals and families. I will always beg you not to pity us. We are ok. The maker of the universe is on our side, holding our hand, walking with us! We are NEVER ALONE! We’re good! I assure you! But please…..I beg you. Have empathy. The next time you see a person in public that is acting out in a way that might lead you to believe Autism is involved…….don’t stare. Don’t give dirty looks. Don’t give advice that makes the parents or caregivers feel incompetent or like it is their fault. Give them a look of love and/or understanding. Offer assistance. An encouraging word. Public is some scary territory for the individual with Autism. There are literally millions of things that can set them off. And very few that they can control. And the caregivers deal with so much as well! Trying to maintain patience and calm, providing redirection if possible, keeping all involved safe, decifering if this is a situation to ride out or whether execution of an exit strategy needs to happen quickly. You have NO IDEA how much your behavior CAN make an impact on their day and their courage to try an outing the next time. Follow the Golden Rule here friends. Treat them as you would want to be treated. It truly is that simple.
Well friends……that’s it for now. Have a look at this link. It’s our story…..our journey……our hero. Our Cannon.