18 And Over

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It is coming. The month of April when I talk more about autism than I usually do. I am not even sure if that is possible. Our family will wear more blue than The Blue Man Group.

Living with Autism and watching Sydney make progress is special for our family. Every appointment, tantrum, IEP meeting, therapy session and pity party were all worth it.

When Sydney turned six years old. Something changed. Autism and Sydney weren’t cute anymore. The school work was harder. The birthday invitations stopped coming. Sydney was considered weird, strange, the “R” word and different.

In my mind I thought. Do I advocate for inclusion? Do I advocate for more services? Or do I just try to live as a normal family? Fear and pain grew each day inside my soul.

Sydney has her whole life ahead of her. When Syd is 25 years old. She may still have her Disney Princess bag. Or even break out with, Walk Like An Egyptian. Will you call her weird? Will you say she is strange? Will you seek first to understand autism and her view of the world?

I wonder how many people accept adults with autism. Are we really as inclusive as we say we are? Or do we just make it look good for a photo opportunity. Maybe it is just me but I have an eye for Autism. Do you have an eye for autism? Can you only identify autism in children? What about the adults in your neighborhood, in your church or at your job?

Will you embrace an adult with autism? Or will you make fun of their life,  the routines and things that make them comfortable? Just food for thought as we enter April, Autism Awareness Month.
I believe that we have come a long way over the past six years with autism awareness. But we can’t stop there. We must continue until we have autism ACCEPTANCE.

Will you Light It Up Blue on April 2nd? Will you smile and say hello to a person living with autism? The autism journey is different for so many individuals. I hate to tell you this.  Being different is the new normal.

Love,

An Autism Mom

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