April 2 may be World Autism Awareness Day but April 8 is my real autism awareness day. April 8 is the day of my son’s birth. It’s the day I was unknowingly catapulted into the Alternate Universe. My son will be 33 in less than a week. Yep. I’ve been doing this mother thing for 33 years! My second awareness date is August 18, the day of the birth of my other son. That’s the day I became aware of what it would be like to raise two boys who could not be further apart in development and outlook.
Autism has changed my life forever. Autism changed our family forever and autism has changed the lives of both of my sons forever, much of it for the better. Both of my sons are regular adults with regular adult problems. Both are married. Both hold jobs. And both are fine human beings.
Yes, I’ve moved way past awareness. After awareness I moved through anger. After anger, came the best part–acceptance and the peace that comes with it. Now I live in the action phase. Every day I take action to help someone with autism.
My greatest sadness is all the anger associated with autism. I have spent the last 20 plus years working in a field that is so filled with people stuck in the anger stage. Anger is everywhere I turn. Many people living with autism are angry at someone. Many families living with autism are angry at someone.
I believe anger is a necessary step toward acceptance and action. Anger motivates us to do something. But, prolonged anger can also be debilitating. Prolonged anger can keep us from the necessary action.
I can get up nearly every morning and say, “today I will do something to make it better for someone with autism.” Awareness is great. Acceptance is better. Anger is debilitating. Action makes a difference.
Every day needs to be autism action day!