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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From Niksmom


Did you know…April is Autism Awareness Month? If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve likely seen the latest figures released by the CDC last week regarding the rise in the rate of autism in the United States.  If you missed it, here’s the bird’s-eye view:
1 in 88 children  ~ 1 in 54 boys  ~ 1 in 252 girls
I haven’t yet had a chance to write my own post about what we are doing forAutism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day. ( Read last year’s post here.), but I wanted to make sure I shared these posts from some of my very dear friends:
Mom-NOS“The blue light reminds everyone who sees it that people with autism are…” 
And as he stared out into the blue, he answered softly in a voice that came from a million miles away: “Awesome.”
(You can read the full post here.)
Jess“Awareness is not the goal. It never has been. But it is the foundation without which no other change can happen.”
(You can read the full post here.)
Did you know that April is also the Month of the Military Child? Our military families are not immune to the effects of living with and loving family members with autism. In fact, they need our help.  Please, take the time to read the words of my friend, Rachel, who has been fighting tirelessly to change the inequities in the military health care system with regards to autism services.
In a post featured by Autism Speaks, Rachel writes: “As a military spouse and mother to a child with autism, I’m here to spread some multidimensional awareness by exploring how these two pieces of the puzzle fit together, or rather how they do not.”
(Read the full post here.  It includes information on the Caring for Military Children with Autism Act and how to contact your Congressional delegate(s) to ask for their support of this important legislation.)
I hope you will subscribe to the posts from The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. All month long, TPGA is featuring “Slice of Life” posts from Autistic people of all ages. Because, awareness is great but ACCEPTANCE is so much more important.
And, finally, I’d like to encourage you to visit the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.  The name speaks for itself as the organization empowers Autistics to speak for themselves.
If you don’t live with autism, it may be hard to understand why it is so important to listen to the voices of those who actually are autistic. These are the voices which will help us shape the future for our children, open the minds (and doors!) of employers, educators, business leaders and politicians about what is possible for so many people who are otherwise marginalized because of myriad manifestations of autism. These are the voices which can help us establish more and better supports for adults with autism once they leave the school system.
Their voices can help shed a light on the tremendous potential within each person regardless of how autism affects them. The potential within each person may not be the same, but the potential to be so much more than what meets the eye is far greater than you might imagine.
Only through dispelling the myths and the fears, through support and acceptance —true acceptance, can we empower each autistic person to meet their potential.
So, um, I guess THAT is what we’ll be doing for the month —and always; helping our son find his “voice” and meet his potential.

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