As our knowledge of autism increases, so does our desire to help and educate others of this phenomena. It’s the yearn of acceptance that we want for our children, brothers, sisters, and anybody close to us that is in the autism spectrum. Many of us have a genuine fear or uncomforted feeling of our loved ones being rejected because of their disorder. So we take days like April 2nd to pledge and make our journey be heard by bringing awareness and information to those that have yet to encounter a person with autism.
It’s a great feeling when people hear our stories of our loved ones and how those stories help redirect their misconceptions or misinformation. The more our communities know about the challenges autism families face, the more acceptance can spread. Our trips to the convenient stores could be easier; moments of tantrums and breakdowns in public places could be handled better if not for the feeling of being judged by others was so ever present; and my personal favorite, the flapping moments along with beautiful nonverbal sounds that sound so awkward to others in the children’s play area.
But this writing friends, is not to highlight yet again the indifference of others, but rather to celebrate those who know how different our loved ones are and still choose to be accepting.
I’m talking about a four-year little boy who on Thanksgiving Day all he wanted to do was to play with another four-year old non-verbal autistic boy that ignored him most of the day. He laid in the floor with our monkey just because that’s what boys do, cruised him in his four-wheel car, and shared his many candies with him.
We should also be recognizing not the strange looks we get in restaurants but people like the stranger who did turn and looked at our monkey and gaged him with beautiful praises that all four year olds should be hearing.
My wife always says that autism chose us but then there are those professionals who chose autism. Many times you can see their battle scars, the bruises in their hands that pinching leaves behind. They come into our homes every week to make a difference in our lives. You can see the love they have for our children.
Awareness and acceptance is spreading little by little. And for that we are grateful. Our goal is and has always been to live in a world where our monkey is viewed as a typical kid, unique in his own way. And there are so many that are paving the way.
Young teens, friends of my daughter, who are worried about prom and boys and music, are eager to participate in the 5K Run to support our monkey and be part of his team.
They are the pioneers of awareness.
Today’s note from my son’s teacher read, “The monkey was very sad this morning. He cried during breakfast. I sat with him for a while to give him a little extra love and he cheered up.”
The beauty of our community.
For all of you who are part of our community, in big ways or small ways, for knowing our son personally or simply following us on our page, for visiting us in the hospital or sending us your love on Facebook. Thank you, because by your awareness, acceptance is increasing as well.