annie blog

Autism Awareness Month


Autism Awareness Month

I don’t know if y’all have heard, but April is Autism Awareness Month.

I have a little Autism awareness related story to share with you…

You might know that many kids with autism don’t actually know that they have it. It’s logical, really, since autism is the lens through which they’ve always viewed the world. After a while, though, when the kids are older, it is helpful for them to know because it helps them to evaluate themselves vs. society and it explains things, sometimes, and helps them to get a bit of a hold on this alien (to them) planet that they inhabit.

The other night, Jon was cutting J’s bangs before Easter. So, during the cutting, Jon decided to gauge how much J knew about his autism.

Jon: J, do you know that you have autism?
J: No. Do I need to go to the hospital?
Jon: No, not at all. It is just something that you have that is the reason that you have a hard time understanding and communicating with people sometimes.
J: So I don’t need to go to the hospital?
Jon: No.
J: Okay, then. Can we talk about the end of Back to the Future II?

And that was it. All but for the laughing, of course. J is such a funny bird.

It feels good to laugh about it, I must say.

If you had told me, 12 and a half years ago that I’d be laughing about autism and my son having it — I would not have believed you.

I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself this. I wish that I could go back and walk up to that just-turned 26 year old, the one who was 8 months pregnant with her 3rd son, who had her just-turned 3 — newly diagnosed son on her lap desperately trying to make a connection with him. I wish that I could tell her that it was going to be okay. I wish that I could go back and tell her that his diagnosis was not a tragedy. You know what, though, she (I) probably wouldn’t have, couldn’t have, listened. It was all too fresh and too painful. Emotionally wrung out folks don’t process things too well — that is why time and grace are so incredibly important.

I’ve got a big autism post coming, y’all, probably sometime next week. It’s not so much about autism as it is about the parenting of a child with autism.

So, tune in if you want.

I hope that you’re having a beautiful Friday!


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