As this rainy month ends, I wanted to take a moment to talk about awareness, particularly Autism Awareness. I want all of my readers, all of you, to be able to see the “light it up blue” campaigns and understand what it really means. I’m not going to talk about the diagnostic criteria or behavioral patterns associated with ASD. Doctors can explain those logistics far better than I can. Instead I’m going to tell you what Autism means to me.
I see Autism as a feather weighing a thousand tons.
The weight that Autism carries is taken on by those on the Autistic Spectrum, their families, teachers, and communities. An action as “natural” as eye contact can take countless professionals, an endless supply of family support, and years of practice for someone on the Autistic Spectrum. Yet, this massive weight is a feather. For a feather has no weight, no constraints. This feather can be as light as we make it. With a change is perception, a warm heart and an open mind can lift that weight.
Having family friends whose children deal with the struggles of autism daily, opened my eyes to how important it is to learn more about the disorder. Becoming friends with those children made me realize that we need to do something about it. My friends are not all that different from me. We laugh at the same jokes, watch the same movies, and play the same games. I want everyone to be open to our friends with autism, so that we all have the opportunity to get to know these amazing people. Therefore, I will leave you with this challenge: I challenge you to become aware. Awareness isn’t just a month; awareness is constantly educating yourself. Let April be the start of your education of Autism. Do some reading on what Autism Spectrum Disorder is, educate a friend, and embrace what differences every person has to offer.
Till the next blog,