Autism Awareness From a Parent’s Perspective
Last month was National Autism Awareness Month. The majority is “aware,” but aware of what?
Aware that my son is my hero?
Aware that he gets made fun of?
Aware that he makes me feel so unconditionally loved and cherished each day?
Aware that he has friends during the school day, but only one friend outside of school?
Aware that he has never had a sleepover at someone else’s house?
Aware that a change of seasons, class schedule, or teacher could cause a few weeks of escalations?
Aware that each night I coach him on how to talk to his friends to ask for their numbers so he can text like other kids?
Aware that when he gets to school, he just doesn’t know how to begin to ask without prompt and he so desperately wants to?
Aware that he already talks about how sad he will be if he goes to his 8th grade dance alone?
Aware that, as a mom, I have no idea what the future holds for my son?
Aware that, behind closed doors, each autism family has different experiences and handles things differently?
Aware that he gets all A’s and B’s, but may not graduate high school if he doesn’t pass MCAS?
Aware of the blood, sweat, and tears of his teachers, aids, and me that goes into helping him achieve those A’s and B’s?
Aware that, in order to teach him life skills, I include him in my daily tasks and responsibilities and that it takes 65 times longer than it should….every day?
Aware that he fights me most times and that making a grilled cheese in my house takes 45 minutes instead of 10?
Aware that autism families need help and over time find out who their true friends are?
Aware that autism has bonded me and my son in a way that I just can’t explain?
Aware that he is the funniest, quirkiest, and caring son I could ever imagine?
Aware that my son has made me a better person, kinder, more patient, and stronger?
Aware that his influence and mark in this world is profound, memorable and one of sincerity and kindness?
Aware that he understands people need to have more patience with him and he tries his best?
Aware that he just wants to be included and accepted?
Finally…..aware that, with everything I described above, I don’t want your sympathy. I have an amazing, unique boy who made me a mom. Every single day, he makes me so happy. My family is blessed to be surrounded by such goodness. I experience things in a simple way, an innocent way, through his eyes.
Aware….. So much more than knowing autism exists.