Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How I Light It Up Blue

You know what some folks call The Boy?


You know what The Boy calls those folks?

“Neurotypicals.”  (With an eyeroll.)

You know what I call The Boy?


What does autism look like in our home?

Amazing aluminum flowers creatively carved from pop cans. Contagious laughter. A smile that warms your heart.  Anime collections and obsessions.  A graduating senior. A college-bound young man. Deep, thoughtful eyes. Poetry. Photography. Ceramics and sculpture. A profound love of nature. A deep sense of fairness and justice.  Mad dodgeball skills. Bug whispering. A dedicated big brother. A loving son. An equal rights activist.    

It also looks like this:

Regular home visits with intensive care case managers. Routine psychiatric appointments. Ongoing therapy for our son, for our children, for our marriage. System of care meetings. Independent Supported Living placement. Individualized Education Plans. Speech therapy. Language therapy. Writing supports. Functional behavioral therapy.  Rigid planning. Excessive toe and finger tapping.  Pureed spaghetti sauce.

It is estimated that 1 in every 88 children live with autism- 1 in every 54 are boys. Children don’t outgrow autism. They become adults who live with autism and struggle to cope in a neurotypical world. They are your neighbors, coworkers, family, and friends.

My hope for World Autism Awareness Day is that everyone who has been touched by autism will reach out to educate someone else about autism.  Tell your story. Share your experiences. Raise awareness!

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!

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