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April is autism awareness month and today, April 2, is the main autism awareness day. Because of that, I wanted to take the time to write a little bit about my story with autism and how it has changed my life…
Before I was a mother, before I was even married, I had never known anyone with autism. In fact, I didn’t even know many special needs people either. I was actually afraid of special needs people. Not because I thought they were bad, but because I did not know how to react around them, how to treat them, or even how to help them. I did not know if I was supposed to do something specific if I came around someone like that. I had never really been taught one way or the other. It was just strange to me.
My first experience ever meeting someone with autism was in 2009. We had just moved to our first base several months prior and we lived at an apartment nearby. I had no children at the time. The apartments had several pools that everyone could use and I was there on a Saturday with a few friends.
I remember there was a little boy there about 7 or 8. He was very loud, splashing around and flapping his hands. His parents told me he had Autism. I didn’t know what to say to that. I think I just smiled politely. I felt bad at the time, again not knowing what to do or how to respond, but I sat there watching the boy and how he behaved. Little did I know, that I would have a child just like that someday.
No mother ever hopes that her child has special needs, but when we found out that my son Adam has autism and SPD, it only made me love him more. I think the hardest thing about autism is watching your child struggle. Hoping that he will not see how different he is from the other children and hoping that you are doing everything you possibly can to help him.
Now, when I see special needs people I am not afraid. I feel compassion. These people are special, wonderful people who have thoughts and feelings just like the rest of us. These children and people need our help. Will you step up and support them?
There is no cure for autism and autism does not just go away. I hope that if you know and love our family that you will take the time to support us this month for autism awareness month. Autism changed our lives and we will never stop fighting for our son and to get him the help he needs. Your prayers and support are always appreciated.
Did You Know?
- Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.
- Autism prevalence figures are growing
- Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
- Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
- Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
- Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
- There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
All month I will be posting facts about autism and drumming up awareness on my blog’s Facebook page: Singing Through the Rain. I encourage you to follow along and share these facts if you can. Have a post about Autism? Link up your post(s) below and read mine that are already linked there!