World Autism Awareness Day

My Autism Awareness Tattoo

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and kicks off a month of Autism Awareness. A number of events are happening around the world to bring awareness including the Light Up Blue campaign, which is a relatively easy one to do and not very expensive.

I have to admit that prior to our son being diagnosed with Autism in 2005 I only had a passing knowledge of what it is. Since then, as we have had to live with Autism, my knowledge has grown beyond ‘Rain Man’, which, unfortunately, has given a lot of people a false picture of what Autism really is.

Although our son’s Autism is not as severe as some, there are moments when it is really obvious and things can get frustrating. Probably the most frustrating aspect is that it is not a visible disability, so quite often if there is a public ‘incident’ then people will jump to the wrong conclusion and judge it as a behavioural issue. This can be hard, but we have found ways to deal with this that work for us. As he has grown older things have become easier and it is all about developing strategies. In spite of difficult times we wouldn’t change our son for the world – he is who he is and he brings us more moments of joy than frustration.

If you want to know more about Autism there is a lot of information out there broaden your knowledge with. Take time during this month of awareness to learn more about this invisible disability. Some places to start include:

Here also is a link to an ASD haiku I wrote a few years ago on my previous blog. Please take time to remember those who live with Autism on a daily basis.

EDIT: My son just wrote a short post on autism at his blog HERE. He’d love if you headed over there and gave him some encouragement.

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101 thoughts on “World Autism Awareness Day

  1. Like you, our family is touched by Autism. Thank you for posting, and more importantly, sharing. Sharing leads to awareness. Awareness leads to acceptance.

  2. Nice , Ive never know the day before ! I have to remain myself to remeber this precious day for autism people !! Thanks !

  3. My best friend has autism. I watched an autism awareness video yesterday in which a young man said ‘I may have autism, but autism does not have me’. That’s what I see in my best friend, all I see is him and his awesome personality. Thank you so much for posting this, its important for people to learn about this and accept it, because it affects many many people.

  4. Thanks for sharing and making me aware. I made friends with an autisic little boy and we spend 2 hours each week together just hanging out…it is so rewarding but I also understand the frustrations that the family goes through!

    • Thanks for visiting. That’s awesome that you made friends with the little guy. I’m sure you bring so much to each other’s lives.

  5. My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism, and in coming to grips with it at age 16 decided that it was actually Asperger’s Advantage. We’re so glad he like who he is, because like your son, we wouldn’t have him any other way. He brings great joy to our lives and a different perspective on living.

    • That’s great and thanks for sharing. My son, who is almost 11, read this post this morning and gave me a big hug and said it touched him. Moments like that are precious. Later when he comes home from school he wants me to help him blog about what it means for him having autism. Have a great day!

  6. Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t know it was Autism Awareness Day. I know the struggle of having an illness that isn’t visible, as I have bipolar disorder. Great post. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Thanks for sharing. As you are probably aware, it is the invisibility that can be the hardest to deal with. Have a great day.

    • Thanks, Delana. I never thought about lighting up my blog blue, so thanks for the idea. I’ve changed it now.

  7. I was diagnosed at a young age with PDDNOS, which is an extremely light but still problematic condition on the autism spectrum. Nowadays things are better, but when I was younger it caused lots of problems.
    Thanks for letting me know that today is Autism Awareness Day.

    • Thanks for this. There are moments when I don’t feel too exceptional, but I do feel blessed and fortunate to have the support of family and friends.

  8. Nice post. My stepson (and possibly my other stepson) has autism, and it’s been a learning curve. He’s an awesome little boy though, and so it’s good to support WAAD (I’ve blogged about it too), All the best for you and your family.

  9. I’m so glad your post is featured on Freshly Pressed. This issue is so important as more and more children are being diagnosed with autism every day. Thank you for shining a light on these amazing kids 🙂

    • Thanks, I was pleasantly surprised to see it there and am glad that it will help bring more awareness in this way.

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  11. My personal and serious guess is that, what is called autism, is rather a collective intellectual and empathical fustiness and cluelessness of the society than a diseaase or defectiveness of the individual state of mind.

    • Although you are entitled to your opinion, perhaps you need to read up about it a bit more and perhaps spend time living with someone who has been diagnosed with it. Just saying…

  12. Thank you for sharing. I am an adult with Asperger Syndrome and I believe that Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month can be used to promote education, understand, and acceptance.

    I live with Asperger’s everyday and experience both its strengths and challenges. I blog about it at http://womanwithaspergers.wordpress.com and write poetry about it at http://ravenswingpoetry.com.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. God bless you, your son, and your family.

    -Nicole

  13. In some locales, its also known as April as being the Autism Awareness Month. I don’t appreciate Autism Speaks, since put a strong negative spin that if someone suffers with autism, they should be treated like a filth-class citizen. I have no respect to Autism Speaks, and that’s why I observe Autism Awareness Month in my area. I am tired of the crap that gets put upon at least the higher functioning groups.

    Steven
    Publisher anallegedautistic[dot]wordpress[dot]com
    Came across this post on the frontpage of WordPress.com

  14. Perhaps, we should all ask what made the gene “defects” that already existed in grand parents and parents with no serious speech disfunction, now is “discovered” in an Autistic patient. What other factors other than such “discovered” gene defects could have caused the communication disorder of Autism spectrum disoreder?

    • A lot of questions are being asked, but many of the answers are hard to come by. It’s hard trying to put all the pieces together, which is why my tattoo is of separated puzzle pieces. Thanks for dropping by.

      • One of the puzzle pieces is a timeline – Before 1980s very few of us knew a child within the Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Now, most of us know at least one.
        Second puzzle piece is immigrant communities who present with Autism in a cluster, and have never seen this in their own country – eg., Somali immigrants in Minnesota. Your tattoo pieces can begin to have suggestions of susceptible factors. Question to ask is if location is a factor. If the answer is yes, then a follow up question would be why?

  15. My 5 year old just got diagnosed with Aspergers. He is a great kid who is wicked smart but has his moments. Everyone told us it was all behavioral but we knew better and thankfully now he is getting the treatment he needs.

    Just as a side note, in support of autism research, for every purchase in my blog’s online store, I will donate $2 to Autism Speaks. Go to http://themainland.net and click on Store.

    • Thanks for sharing. It’s so frustrating when people try to blame it on behaviour or bad parenting. Glad to hear he is now getting the treatment he needs. I’ll check out your blog soon. Have a great day!

  16. Hey Everyone its a site Called Help The Causes.com that will be launching Friday April 6, 2012 its designed to help raise awareness for different causes and autism is one of them make sure you check it out
    God Bless!

  17. I don’t personally know anyone who has autism, nor have I ever met anyone with autism…In fact, I don’t even think I’ve ever met someone who knows someone with autism…and yet it’s such a big widespread issue. I must be an anomaly. That being said, I still care, and appreciate you spreading the word and awareness about how this affects millions of people.

    • Or…you just might not realize that they had it. My son is very high functioning; most people don’t even realize he’s autistic. Which creates its own set of issue sometimes:)

  18. It was really great seeing your post on freshly pressed – my son was one of the 1 in 10,000 – and its been so heart wrenching to see the numbers jump so fast, so quickly…..thanks for blogging, it really does matter.

    Wendy Frye

  19. What a lovely post. I have worked with many primary school children, who are on the autistic spectrum, over the last 13 years, in a mainstream school. I have to say that of all the children I work with, I prefer to work with these children. The reason for this is that their honesty is endearing, ‘what you see is what you get’. I love some of the things they say and the literal way in how they think. They truly are clever children but hard work at times, although for only 6 hours a day for me. You, on the other hand, work twice as hard as me and deserve a pat on the back.

    • Thanks. The honesty was quite hard to get used to at first. so what does that say about our society? But it has been a great journey so far. We are grateful for the caring teachers, people like you, who are a part of our son’s life. Keep up the good work.

  20. Thanks for sharing and raising awareness. Hearing about it from parents is the best way to understand and support those touched by autism.

  21. My sorority’s philanthropy is Autism Speaks, so I am very familiar with the Light it Up Blue campaign. Great post to spread awareness and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  22. Thank’s for your contribution…it’s very important! I’m an italian educator and i work with autism. Hard work, but many joyful moments with my child.
    Sonia
    Sorry, but i don’t speak english well!

  23. I am an instructor at a day habilitation program and work with many people that have autism. It can be a challenge sometimes, but they bring so much joy into my life, I wouldn’t trade my job with anybody.

    • Thanks for sharing and for all that you do. When it gets challenging I always remind myself of the times of joy.

    • Thanks. You must be proud of your son heading to college this fall. Loved the pics of the tulips on your blog as well.

  24. It’s interesting how you categorized Autism as an “invisible disability”. I am friends with a lovely couple who have twin sons who were both diagnosed with Autism. To the naked, uninformed eye, the boys do not “look” like they have a disability. This has resulted in the family not receiving the amount of therapy services from the state of California that is so desperately needed.
    On a lighter note…love your tattoo! What a perfect way to spread the word of Autism Awareness because there is always a curiosity behind the meaning of people’s tattoos. Have people asked you questions about its significance?
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed….Great Post!

    • Thanks. Yes, quite often people get curious about the tattoo and it offers me the opportunity to share its significance. It can be hard sometimes trying to access the necessary therapies and support. Here in Ontario the long waiting lists can be a problem, I hope your friends can get the access to the therapies their twins need. It can make such a big difference.

  25. Thank you for sharing that your son has a blog. I am on my way there now. I do not have anyone diagnosed with autism in my family but have a special love for differently-abled children of all types. You are right when you say that it is the invisible disability that brings public, and often cruel, misinterpretations.

  26. I have autism (Asperger’s Syndrome, to be precise) and i agree that the misconceptions the world has about us err on the negative side….but i do think with the advent of movies like Adam (came out last year) and more public recognition, things are starting to look up ^^.

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  29. I suffer from 3 “invisible diseases” so I can relate with the feelings you have when it comes to that and your son. Thank you for sharing this post with me and everyone else. I am not too familiar with Autism and do not know anyone personally who suffers from it but I support any and everyone who has to fight for “normal” everyday.

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