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Monday, April 1, 2013

A: Autism Awareness

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Welcome to day one of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. The timing is perfect because tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day. I have shared on this blog before that my 13-year-old son has Asperger's Syndrome. His case if fairly mild but it affects us every single day. We have years of therapy ahead of us but we are very fortunate that his future looks bright; he will most likely live independently with a career and family.

He was diagnosed two years ago and up until then I knew something wasn't quite right but couldn't find the help we needed. There is a general lack of understanding out there for children who have autism, especially the milder cases. My son is not severe enough to require special education services but he also can't handle being in a regular classroom (I am finally homeschooling him). A last minute change in plans can lead to a meltdown most people would only expect from a toddler. He does not have friends. Kids generally like him because he is hilarious but he doesn't know how to interact with them. He is very black and white. I once snuck candy into the movie theater and he cried because I was breaking the law and freaked out to the point I had to take the candy back out to the car. There are many people who question my parenting decisions but it comes down to choosing my battles. They don't live with him and they don't know the little things that can set him off and ruin his day.

There have been many times when I felt hopeless and like he would never find peace and happiness. We have been truly blessed with the resources available to us since we moved and I feel hopeful. Hope is a powerful thing and I want every parent to have hope.

What can you do? Light It Up Blue in one of the following ways:
  • Learn about Autism
  • Wear blue tomorrow (April 2) in support of Autism awareness
  • Click on the button below to learn more about Autism, make a donation, and/or purchase items that support Autism research
  • Purchase Austism Speaks blue light bulbs from Home Depot
  • Purchase blue LED lanterns from Coleman.com
  • Spread awareness
  • Be understanding