Autism Awareness Month

clipart by the 3am teacher

April is Autism Awareness Month, which is something near and dear to my heart. My sweet son just turned 5, and about 2 years ago, he was diagnosed with autism. You may have heard that autism is not a DISability, but a DIFFERENT ability, and I couldn't agree more. My son is amazing! He's smart, kind, and he has a way of looking at the world that we could all learn from.

 The Autism Speaks website states that Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges.

One way that autism has been explained to me has to do with how you take in the world around you. When we look at the world, we filter out distractions like background noise from humming lights, music playing in the background, or colors on the wall to focus on what we consider important. Someone with autism has no filter. The hum of the lights stands out just as much as the person in front of him that is talking. That can make the world very overwhelming sometimes. But it also allows my son not make the distinctions that we may have been taught to consider important when looking at someone, such as how much a person weighs or what clothes they are wearing. When he looks at you, he sees the whole you, and it's beautiful. We should all learn to look at the world that way.

My husband, son, and I like to participate in the Denver Autism Speaks Walk. Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They are dedicated to increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder, being the catalyst for research breakthroughs, and increasing early-childhood screening and timely intervention.

You can join Team Austin and walk with us by clicking here! You can also support Team Austin by making a donation or buying a specially designed bracelet for Autism Awareness! My friend Allison has designed a special KEEP Collective bracelet and key fob in honor of Autism Awareness month. You can support Autism Speaks by purchasing one of these in the month of April because she will donate a portion of the sales to Autism Speaks in honor of Team Austin!

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