Today is World Autism Awareness Day and after reading a wonderful post by a fellow blogger and Mom that cynking feeling I asked myself “what does Autism Awareness mean to me.”
For me its personal because I can only talk about the Autism that I personally see every day. Since we received the diagnosis last year we have been trying to educate ourselves on what Autism exactly is and what it is for Johnny. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we also had to explain all of this to every person that Johnny’s life touched. What we didn’t know then was what a daunting time consuming task this would be and still is.
– spreading awareness to teachers every single day in 2 different communication books for the 2 schools he attends.
– spreading awareness to all the professionals who work with Johnny by writing letters, emails and making phone calls to make sure that they know of his progress and advocating for them to act on his changing needs
– spreading awareness to family members when they want to know how he is doing and trying to educate them on something that we are still learning about
– spreading awareness by writing daily entries on Facebook to celebrate every little accomplishment because we know how many people it took to help him get there and how hard he had to work
– spreading awareness on facebook to family and friends who want to stay connected to us and Johnny even though we all live far apart but through social media their comments are filled with encouragement and support that help us get through the not so easy days
– spreading awareness when it is not so easy. When people close in his life don’t appreciate when we say THIS is big for him and they just smile and nod and then move on to another topic
– spreading awareness with my online blog that I started as a form of therapy for myself to sort things out that I was feeling as well as document Johnny’s progress.
Then it became away to let friends and family know how Johnny is doing when words fail me.
Now it has become away for me to spread awareness and let other Moms and Dads know that they are not alone.
The biggest thing we have learned with spreading awareness is that when words fail my son and until he can speak for himself we have to be his voice.
That is Autism Awareness for us.