Today is World Autism Day.
Oddly enough, I have very little to say on days like these. Maybe I feel the pressure to be super profound or enlightening and just crack under it. I am, after all, a seasoned vet in the world of Autism. I just don't know what I can say or do to help raise awareness, educate, or inform outside of living my life out loud here on this blog.
For my family, one day or one month of "Autism Awareness" is really just a grain of sand on the beach. It doesn't stand out for me any more or less than any other day. When you live it for almost 18 years it is who you are and a day devoted to that awareness scarcely registers on my radar in all honesty. Not that I'm trying to diminish the day or feel that it is insignificant - not in the least. I guess I'm just glad there are others out there much more inclined and vocal about the day and all its meaning. I will leave it to them.
What is interesting is that there are two levels of awareness-raising that can occur. Of course, there is what we can do to raise awareness in the general public - those whose lives have not been touched by Autism. There is also a different kind of awareness-raising that occurs within the Autism community. It is families reaching out to families, parents connecting with other parents. What has inspired me most on my journey are other parents like me. I don't mean other parents of kids diagnosed with Autism. I mean other parents really like me. Living it perfectly imperfect and always keeping it real. Parents of teens and young adults - the forgotten group in the big wide world of Autism (yes, shockingly, all these little kids on the spectrum actually grow up!!) These are the people who have opened my eyes and given me new perspectives.