Do you have a family member or know someone who has autism? April is autism awareness month. There was a time when autism was a rare occurrence and we needed a month to bring it to people’s attention. I don’t think we need an autism awareness month anymore. People are aware of the prevalence of autism. What we need is a “give a parent of a person with autism a break sometime” month. A month where you call a parent/caregiver and watch that child/adult with autism for a couple of hours so that the care giver can get out and do something for themselves. Just a thought.
Every day is about autism in our household. It’s about tantrums, not being able to handle change, it’s about OCD and opening cabinet doors and the refrigerator door over and over again, it’s about checking things again, it’s about saying “I love you” two times before she leaves the room, it’s about asking me questions about where I’m going, who I’m going out with and when I’ll be back about 10 times, it’s about not being able to to do ordinary tasks and having to help her dress and shower and explain the birds and the bees for the upteeth time.
But it’s also about a childlike understanding of the world, a quirky sense of humor, routine, goals that are met that only her brother and I understand the importance of, a love of music and a God given singing voice that brings her immense joy, an incredible memory and a savant like ability for Disney trivia, talking only to her mother on the phone, making meaningful connections with others, caring about others to ask about them but not talk to them in person and giggle fits. Everyday is about autism in our household.