Tag Archives: Make a Wish for Me

Autism Month

Note from Me: There has been a long gap in the posts to this blog. My apologies. I’m working on a second book, fiction this time, so I think my brain and daily clock only allow me a certain word count. But since it is Autism Month I felt compelled to share some thoughts.

I’ve spent the last few weeks gearing up for Autism month-which started yesterday (and today is Light it Up Blue – World Autism Day- so hope you put out your blue light bulbs). I’ve been reaching out to my community, schools, libraries, etc., to talk about Autism. It’s something I am passionate about as many of you know, as my son is on the spectrum. If you didn’t know, scroll down farther on the blog and read snippets from the book I wrote about our journey. Or you can order it on Amazon (The e-book is on sale now for World Autism Day). Purchase on Amazon

A few weeks ago I was invited to a Facebook group of “Autism Ambassadors”, who are also reaching out to their communities. I was asked for a quote for an article about Autism Acceptance and it got me thinking more about Autism Awareness month and how it relates to Autism Acceptance. (See link a the bottom for that article) I think we all can agree, the awareness part is sort of ‘been there, done that’. Twelve years ago when my son was diagnosed that wasn’t the case. For those who read my book, I talk about a store employee that didn’t understand what I was saying when I explained my son was autistic, after he had the mother of all tantrums. Her reaction was “Oh, how great”. Clearly she didn’t comprehend the complete melt down my entire life was at that moment, nor what Autism meant. Since then, I think most people are pretty aware of autism.

But, it’s not the aware part I’m focusing on anymore. Acceptance is what I’m after. And it’s seems to be a common theme in the Autism world today. Acceptance comes from knowledge and I plan to teach anywhere I can, starting here.

I’m going to give you some homework today: Go to Google and type ‘Autism Acceptance’ and choose just one of the many links. If you have someone with autism in your life, your story could be much different than those you read about and can broaden your perception. If you work with people on the spectrum, it will hopefully demonstrate how different each child is. Or if you have no one in your life, I guarantee you will learn something.

Then if you will, take any insight you have gained, put it out in the world, in your own way: share an article you read; put a quote on social media; talk with a typically developing child who may not understand it yet-they are going to be the best ambassadors for change. Change can happen but it starts with you. If you can broaden your mind, you can most certainly help to broaden others just by talking about something heard about, but not quite understood.

I thank you for attempting this homework. And if you don’t have time to get on the Google, just click the link below, you will learn quite about from this article. More to come…

 

Article for Autism Acceptance (Yes, my name is spelled wrong, actually it’s only part of my name, so just get over it-I had to.)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Siblings

I thought it fitting to acknowledge National Sibling Day during this Autism Awareness month.  My words may not do justice to how important my daughter, Jenna has been for, my son, Ryan.  Siblings can be the best built-in peer partners an autistic child can have–if the sibling is willing to participate.  Luckily, she has shown a keen interest in him since the day he was born, long before he was diagnosed.  To the point of (mostly his) annoyance, she has never left him alone.  I hear him scream her name no less than five times a day, and I know it’s because she’s teasing him.  God bless her for that.  Yes, it’s irritating, but she doesn’t treat him different and never has–even after she was old enough to know about his disorder.

I have been blessed with three siblings myself, and we naturally have different ways of communicating with each other.  Jenna and Ryan have only each other, and due to his language deficit, Jenna had to first relate to him by his actions.  In my upcoming book, Make a Wish for Me,  I tried to illustrate how early on Jenna was a wonderful ‘mini’ therapist and participated in Ryan’s daily sessions.  But, what I didn’t get to elaborate on is their interactions now.  Then, their relationship was still somewhat simple exchanges.  And she did a lot of “talking” for him as older siblings will do. However, I believe, she really did know how to interpret what he wanted or was trying to say.  I think due to his lack of speech, they found a way to mentally connect, not using words.  I know he did this with me, which is why I think that became their way of communicating.  This initial mental connection has stayed with them.

Now that Ryan has the amazing gift of speech, they have found movie scenes as their way of interacting.  If I had to guess I would say, that’s not Jenna’s first pick.  She probably would much rather do crafts or ride bikes with him.  But, as she learned long ago, in order to interact with Ryan, you mostly have to do what interests him.  So, movie scenes it is.  Again, the annoyance level for me is sometimes unbearable after hearing them act out the same scene for the fifth time.  But when I hear the sheer giggles of joy–from both of them, I can do nothing more than smile.  Smile deep from my soul and thank god they were given each other.

The complexity of their relationship isn’t easily defined, especially by me, because I’m only an observer.  But, what I see clearly is they adore each other.  I truly believe the one person Ryan would miss the most on earth is Jenna.  She is the first person he asks about every day; and if she’s away, he just isn’t himself with out her.  Same goes for Jenna–as she has told me many times unprompted, “Ryan is my best friend.” Although she may not say those words to him, she shows it.  And he knows.

So, today I honor my children as the best siblings in the world.   I thank them both for the love and attention they give each other. May they always be there for each other and never stop laughing.

IMG_0988

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized