April is National Autism Awareness Month that started over 25 years ago by the Autism Society. In an effort to bring self awareness, inclusion and assurance that all individuals with Autism would be given the opportunity to experience the highest quality of life.
Hearing the diagnosis of your child having autism, would generate a lot of questions and surely emotions of disbelief What does this mean for their future? Was there something I did? How do we go forward? Fortunately there are a lot of options and resources available to assist with getting the best care for your child.
Organizations such as Autism Speaks provide parents with resources and information that can help kids from birth to adulthood. According to their website, there are a lot of ways to get involved and provide support such as participating in fundraisers like Autism Speaks Walks as well as participating in research projects and being an advocate for increased federal funding.
I have some amazing women in my life that have had to endure the pain of hearing their child was autistic and how the diagnosis changed their lives. Their biggest advice to new parents that have children recently diagnosed is to seek help and therapy to include autism behavioral therapy as soon as possible. Early intervention is key. Have a strong support system whether it is family or friends or local support groups through the schools or local communities. The biggest misconception about autistic children is that they are bad or undisciplined. They are not and are over
stimulated and see things differently. Find out the triggers and do what’s best for them. Don’t be embarrassed and make sure you don’t shelter your kids from other kids. Hold them to the same expectations. As there are different levels of autism where some are auditory and others are not. If they are auditory, make sure you communicate with them and make them communicate. It it all for their benefit even when it seems hard.
April 2nd is designated as World Autism Day. Numerous businesses, buildings and communities were lit up in light blue in recognition for people living with autism. There were autism friendly events held all around the world.
Did you know that the first Sunday of every month Chuck E. Cheese has sensory friendly Sunday? There are also summer camps and team sports that gives kids some fun ways to express themselves while also giving the parents some relief.
If you want to get more involved with autism awareness, check out autismspeaks.org for information as well as stay tuned all week to Tee’s Corner Live as we continue to discuss autism awareness.