02 Apr World Autism Day
The month of April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. In honor of this month we are gong to “light it up blue” and ask all of our friends to do the same. Autism Awareness is all about is all about just that, awareness. Children and families with loved ones on the spectrum need and appreciate our support and in honor of this special month I will share my own family’s story.
My first child Bryce was born on January 25, 2011, and on that day shortly after 9 o’clock that morning, my wife Kate and I received a truly precious gift. Bryce was 8 lbs 10 ounces and perfect in every way. We brought him home to much fan fare and showered him with attention and love.
As the first six months passed Kate and I were blown away by how he would surpass each milestone and seemed to always be just a bit ahead according to the “What to Expect When Your Expecting: The First Year”. He was a very happy baby and so easy on us as parents. Bryce took to sleeping through the night without any problems, and he seemed to enjoy traveling with us from place to place.
As time went on we started to notice that his rapid progression through most of the expected milestones began to slow, especially when it came to communication. Around the age of two he was still not talking and seemed to ignore us, or not respond to his name. We took him to doctors and other health professionals, we tested his hearing and looked for solutions to his lack of communication and other behavior issues that seemed to begin to occur. We were stumped as to what could be going on, nobody we spoke to or tests that were performed resulted in any physical problems. Although Bryce was happy and continued to be his loving self, we became anxious and worried as to what could be wrong with our son.
My wife first raised the possibility of Bryce being on the spectrum, but I rejected the idea and we continued to push for some easily explainable cause. As the years have passed and we have come to find out that our son is in fact Autistic, we tried to learn what we can and provide a home for Bryce in which he can be who he is. Today Bryce is four years old and still non-verbal, he has days when is very hard to handle, but he continues to be a happy and sweet little boy. We have experienced steps forward, and steps back, but we have no intention of giving up or giving in.
Families who live on the spectrum more than anything need support. Life can seem very isolating at times. When many families enjoy trips and reunions, and parties, there are some families like mine that can’t always do those things. To us “light it up blue” is an opportunity to see that others out there are with us, and it is a chance for all of our little special ones to know they are not alone, forgotten, or left out.
Please take a moment this April to show your support for Autism Awareness whatever gesture you choose, I assure you it will be appreciated.