April is Autism Awareness month. Chloe is on the autism spectrum. I rarely list autism as one of her diagnoses because it’s more of a symptom of other diagnoses. However, I recognize autism as part of our lives and am always studying how to help her deal with the sensory and social issues that go along with that. We also have a nephew with Aspergers. He is such a sweet kid and is extra sweet and sensitive with Chloe. We sure love him.
There are so many conditions and issues to be “aware” of, it’s hard to know when and how it can matter to you or what you can actually do about it. Well, I would suggest that autism awareness matter to everyone. Why? Because it is prevalent and the numbers are rising. There are over 70 million people with autism worldwide. That means understanding is crucial and research is important. That means many children and their parents are in need of support. Being aware and showing support means we can have more conversations about autism: about what it looks like, how it affects those with autism and their families, how legislation can be reformed to facilitate much needed community changes for those with autism, and how anyone can include and celebrate a child with autism without overstimulating them.
“Not everything that steps out of line, and thus ‘abnormal,’ must necessarily be ‘inferior.” – Hans Asperger
So what can you do? How can we help in the vast sea of many needs bring about change and conversation about autism? My suggestion is this: anything! What I plan to do is talk to my nephew’s parents and see what current challenges they are facing and how I can help. You could wear blue on April 2nd. You could post something on Facebook. You could read something that someone else posted on Facebook. You could talk to your neighbors who have a child with autism. But do something. It matters and that something you do does make a difference.