Thursday, April 9, 2009

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. In Colorado on vacation, I saw a sign in the window of a wine shop promoting Montrose's inaugural Autism Walk. Pretty cool.

For those who find this blog and don't know much about autism, please visit Autism Speaks for good information on its signs, symptoms, and treatment. Also, read the comments on this blog. You'll learn a lot from the stories parents have shared here about the challenges and frustrations they endure every day.

The next time you see a child melting down in public, don't assume it's the result of bad parenting. The child may well be autistic. That parent needs your support and positive thoughts, not a judgmental frown or caustic comment.

The next time you see a child sitting at the playground running sand between his fingers for 30 minutes, don't assume he's being ignored by his parent. He probably needs a break, and the parent is giving it to him.

The next time you invite your child's classmates to a birthday party, remember that the kid in the class with autism might want to come, too.

The next time friends tell you that their son or daughter has autism, don't say, "I don't see anything wrong!" Instead, ask questions. Learn something new. Don't judge.

The next time you see a child with autism, say hello and smile, and don't feel hurt or insulted when he or she ignores you. Just keep smiling. The child notices, even if you don't think so.

The next time you meet a child with autism, don't assume he or she is just like your neighbor's child with autism. All people with autism are unique...just like all people without autism are unique.


Kristin said...

Oh my goodness. Yes. Thank you. I may create myself a sandwich board and just wear this post around for a few months or years. Thank you for...clarifying...putting to words exactly what this momma needs from the people around her and in the mall and at the playground.

DebsStuff said...

I Love love LOVE what you wrote here. I'm with Kristin and the sandwich board,. Alot of adults could sure use some education in this area!!!
Thank you for such a wonderful post! Debbie

Jamie said...

I agree with the other ladies who left comments...I LOVE what you wrote! You hit the nail on the head the way only the parent of an autistic child could! How refreshing to hear my own feelings reflected here! Thank you!!