Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's Almost April.

This April you may notice that the world turns a little blue. April is Autism Awareness month. The Sydney Opera House will be lit up blue, Newcastle's City Hall clock tower will be blue, and some of your Facebook friends might be sporting ASD profile badges. Now you may be about to switch off, close my page, or groaningly say something like "Not another worthwhile cause to think about." Well please don't. Let me tell you why it is so very important to use April to learn a little something about Autism Spectrum Disorders.

You may not have a family member with an ASD, but I am sure that someone in the circle of your acquaintance is touched by autism. Perhaps it's a friends child, someone at church, or in your homeschool group.These people need you to know a little about autism so that they feel supported, accepted and understood. All too often families touched by autism feel rejected and misunderstood simply because people do not have a basic understanding of what ASD can mean.

Even in my own extended family there is limited understanding of what autism is, and how it impacts my children. I totally understand why this is the case. Autism can be difficult to pin down! You might know a person on the spectrum, and therefore think you know what autism is. You couldn't be more wrong! If you take something away from my post let it be this quote. "To know a person with autism, is to know ONE person with autism." My own two children with ASD are poles apart in how autism effects them.

Roo didn't speak fluently until he was about four and a half.
Koala spoke right on time.
Roo's sensory system needs a lot of movement. His engine is often running fast.
Koala's sensory system is under sensitive. He likes to be quiet and still.
Roo is very agile and walked right on cue.
Koala has low muscle tone and walked at 22 months.
Roo has never had a meltdown
Koala has frequent meltdowns

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

So this April I will be writing a few short posts about autism. I invite you to come back and learn a little more about ASD, and celebrate (yes you read that right!) the diversity of autism!