April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day
And, April is Autism awareness month. This month if you are on social media you will see "light it up blue" or an article or an image that will bring awareness to ASD which is short for autism spectrum disorder. It is a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.
I get it. I was like most people before my daughter got diagnosed with autism over a decade ago. I did not pay attention to anything special needs period. But then things changed after that day. My life changed. My perspective changed.
Before that, I was in my own little perfect world. Deep into insignificant issues like working full-time and planning my next beach vacation.
I had a greater purpose after ASD entered. I became more empathetic. For example, because, I as a parent was living daily with meltdowns, sensory issues, and teacher conferences informing me about how disruptive my daughter was in class. From then on I did not judge the dad or mom that was leaving their full grocery cart in the middle aisle with their child in tow having the worst temper tantrum I had ever seen.
I was more understanding of these situations. My empathy grew stronger for parents like myself that needed to get through another tough day with their child that might have something wrong with their brain.
I was that parent leaving my groceries at the store.
For whatever battle you're fighting, someone is fighting another battle just as hard. And, autism is ours. We love that April is autism awareness month and April 2 is autism awareness day. For us, it’s 365 days of autism awareness day. I write to you not to feel sorry for me. I write to inform. We are good. Because in our house, love is strong and no small accomplishments go unrecognized. Shout out to all that are fighting something unexpected.
Joni Brown writes about her life raising her daughter that lives with PCDH-19 epilepsy, autism, anxiety and OCD.