Autism Awareness Day

Today someone told my son it was Autism Awareness Day. His response was, "What does that have to do with anything???"

Oh, the irony. My son has autism. He was diagnosed when he was 3 years old. His diagnosis came after lots of questions, and reading. It came after being told he was a late bloomer and that I was an overprotective first time mama. I tried to explain to the people who saw him once or twice a year for 10 minutes what my concerns were, and they didn't get it. All kids are active. All kids enjoy spinning in circles. Lots of kids walk on their toes. Relax, mom and everything will be fine.

Everything is fine in many ways. Alex has autism, and that hasn't gone away. And it won't. He (and consequently we as a family) sometimes have challenges doing things that most people do without thought. Things like going to his brother's soccer games. Or eating in a restaurant. Or Laser Toilets in public restrooms. But even with these challenges, he's grown and changed and been able to do things I wasn't sure he would ever do. Each week in adaptive phys ed he swims 1/4 mile. It took years for him to learn to swim over his head without a life preserver. It took him 6 years to learn to ride a bike, but now it's something he can do when all his cousins are over and he's part of the group. These accomplishments came from his incredible work ethic, and from the dedication of teachers and consultants and babysitters and aunts and uncles and mom and dad.

We're now setting goals for his adulthood, for a time when we might not be around. We're thinking about how to prepare him for the world, and that's not easy. There aren't any easy answers, and no sure bets. But he has had some wonderful people work with him in the past, and I am hopeful that he will have some wonderful people work with him in his future. He will continue to learn and grow. We all will.


fiddlestixstudios said...

Sweet Dixie,rest assured,God will always make sure wonderful people are in your son's life.:-)He's very lucky to have parents like you all.Give him a big hug for me!

P.S.~I LOVE that Be Good Tanyas song!

Rebecca said...

Great comeback, Alex! You're cool!...Oh yah, loved the music too, Becky

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden