World Autism Day is today– April 2nd.
This is our fourth World Autism Day. The irony is not lost on me that it was a beautiful day much like today in April, a month that shines the light on Autism, some years ago when we became personally aware of Autism as it entered our lives.
I could pepper you with statistics– 1 in 54 children are living with Autism. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls. Autism comes with a slew of co-morbid conditions. Early intervention is essential. Funding for much needed therapies can be very difficult to obtain. There is no cure.
But the stats are stats and what is more important than stats are the living breathing 1 in 54 people those stats represent.
What is important are the advocates out here fighting for awareness and acceptance.
What is important is making the world a kinder, more inclusive place for those living with Autism.
On this day you may see feeds similar to mine flooded with words about Awareness and Acceptance. Both are important so, so important.
I believe that awareness leads to understanding and understanding leads to inclusion and inclusion leads to acceptance. As a mama to two amazing little boys on the spectrum, that is all I want for my boys– acceptance. I want them to be included, feel loved, be treated with respect and kindness, and be accepted for everything that they are.
Autism is a part of them, but it is not the definitive part or the sum of all their parts. It is just a piece of the puzzle that makes them whole. They are kind and sweet boys who love hard and deserve acceptance.
We celebrate our children on this day. We celebrate them for who they are and who they will be. We celebrate them for all the hard fought, hard won accomplishments. We celebrate the families and the caregivers. We celebrate the friends. We celebrate the teachers and the therapists.
We celebrate each and every single person who sees us and loves and accepts our family.
My hope is that on this World Autism Day you take some time to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder. My hope is that you will talk to your children and teach them about differences and being accepting and kind. Talk to them about inclusion and understanding.
Because I promise you if you do you will be part of the change this world needs.
You will be part of the change OUR world needs.