Here we are again, April 1. As some are aware, April is autism awareness month, with April 2 being autism awareness day. We are about 1 1/2 years from our D day (diagnosis day) and we “light it up blue.”
There is a debate that wages on and usually heats up this time of year. Autism Speaks is the organization that first started lighting it up blue. As an organization dedicated to research and finding a cure for autism, there is much divisiveness in our community about the group. There are some that feel finding a cure isn’t the answer and that individuals with autism are fine just the way they are. That we need to teach acceptance (which I agree). There is also a severe lack of self-advocating autistics who are directly connected with the organization (again, I agree). Then there are others, especially those whose children are more severely effected by the condition, who feel a cure would be an answer to their prayers (which I can certainly understand). And then there are those like me, who feel that whether or not you feel a cure is the answer, the organization is usually the first “go to” a scared parent has, as they have a wealth of information and can start pointing you in the proper direction. That’s where we were when Aiden was diagnosed. We needed direction and the Autism Speaks website was the first place I went. We downloaded all the helpful pamphlets and signed up for our first walk. It certainly was a life raft at a very critical time in our lives.
But here we are now. Aiden has been in therapy, our IEP is in place and with all the help we’ve received from teachers, doctors and therapists, we have a greater understanding of our son. I have watched him blossom in the last year because we are learning how to communicate with him. We’ve come to understand that we were the ones that needed to change if we wanted our son to thrive. From his home and school environments to just how we speak to him. With the adults and even his siblings recognizing his strengths and weaknesses he has begun to understand his condition a little. His self-awareness has come a few years earlier than usual and because he is so young, he can start the process of recognizing his triggers and working through his issues.
I am so proud of my son. He lives in a world that I can only imagine. It is an honor that he lets me in as much as he does and it is truly a privilege to have been chosen to be his mom. It’s not always easy but it’s always an adventure. In support of my baby, and for all the parents and children out there who live with this condition, and in hopes of offering a greater understanding for those that may have a hard time understanding…LET’S LIGHT THIS MUTHA UP!
I ❤ you Aiden.