Laugh with us, cry with us, and learn about AUTISM!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Autism Awareness Day 2013

Today Autism Awareness Day, and I've never been so aware of autism as I am on this beautiful spring day.

I'm going to be honest. Prior to this year, I never even knew there was an Autism Awareness Day.  Before Kevin uttered those fateful words "Maybe she has Autism" I had never even thought about Autism.  I knew what it was (or should I say, what I THOUGHT it was), and that's about it.  I was ignorant.

Can Autism Awareness Day change peoples ignorance?  I really don't know, it didn't change mine.  Maybe now that it is a nationally recognized day (THANK YOU SENATOR MUNSON!) it will reach more people.  Somehow it never reached me... 

Here is what I wish I had been aware of, and want everybody to be aware of.

AUTISM CAN HAPPEN TO ANY CHILD.  There is no predictor, no warning signs until it happens.  No child is safe from the possibility.

THE HELP ISN'T THERE.  A lot of children with Autism can improve greatly, but the wait times for free services are ridiculous.   The wait time for diagnoses is just as bad.  The younger a child is, the easier it is to help them, but who knows how old your child will be by the time they get to the top of the list.

AUTISM CAN BE INVISIBLE.  That normal looking kid who's freaking out in the store while you're thinking "why doesn't that mother make him stop or leave?"  That child could have autism, and that mother might really need those goldfish crackers to try and salvage the day.

THERE ARE GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS.  Some days Autism is in full swing...  Other days you might swear the child is "normal."  Suggesting a misdiagnosis does not help.  Most parents worked hard for those improvements, do not undermine that.

KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS.  Despite what many people think, not every child with Autism avoids eye contact, spins wheels excessively, flaps their arms and toe walks.  Know all the signs, even the subtle ones.

WHAT HELPS ONE CHILD MAY NOT HELP ANOTHER.  There is no simple plan to help a child with Autism.  There are a number of therapies and tools out there, and each child needs a different combination of them.

Please take this day as an opportunity to talk to somebody about autism.  EVERYBODY needs to know.  If you have the opportunity, do something to help a family dealing with this.  Offer kind words and support, listen to them vent, bake something, do their dishes, babysit, take them for coffee...  dealing with autism can be very isolating.



  1. Thank you for this POST Kim, ever since we found out about Josie, Aunt Carol and I have been learning and spreading the word about Autism. We don't understand it all,But have a good understanding of it. You and Kevin are great parents, and Josie is so luckey to have you both to help her cope with this. Keep your spirits up and keep moving forward. We love you all, Love Aunt Carol & Uncle Pete.

    1. Thank you so much! We appreciate your support and encouragement. Sometimes things are rough, but it is always worth it! Love you guys!


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