world autism awareness day


today is world autism awareness day.
april is autism awareness month.

i am much more aware this year than last.
life has forced it on me.

there are a hundred ways i could give autism a face.
there are stories and photos aplenty.
 here is one.

at casita hart, autism sometimes looks like a boy on a swing.
a skinny, yet strong seven year old boy pumping his legs back and forth.

in this moment, luca looks a lot like other kids.

you wouldn't know about the mega meltdown 2 hours earlier.
the kicking and screaming and spitting at the home improvement store.
the mama carrying him outside to keep him safe.
the papi sitting in the back of the van to calm him down.
the little sister playing and helping with her littler brother.

 i have been asked if we could have known at a younger age.
if there were signs we missed in toddlerhood.
if we could have been more aware.

these are great questions.
know the signs.

we went six years before even guessing this was part of our life.
i thought i knew what autism looked like.
for the most part, i did.
most of those checklists did not really apply to our son.

but my understanding was limited.
i did not (really) know what asperger's syndrome looked like.
i am learning.

that said, i do not think we could have known much earlier.
  because, for the most part, luca looks a lot like other kids.

and, odd as it sounds, that is what makes it so hard for me.

with 1 in 88 school aged children living with autism, you probably know someone on the spectrum.
go love on that family today.


Emily Morrice said...

thankful for your post. you're a wonderful mama :)

Gmdasher said...

You and family will be ok. Our son was diagnosed in early 1990's when in second grade. He is now 23 and senior in college. He still struggles though has learned some coping skills. Good student- still continues to struggle socially. Anxiety rears it's head often both for him and us. Get into support group if one avx. Tremendous help for me. God bless. It will work out not always as we planned but it will work out.

April said...

I am a mama of 2 sons with autism. You would never know it looking at them, but it wouldn't take long to figure it out. They are 2 of the most incredible people I know!! And I'm not just saying that b/c I'm their mom! ;) 

Never stop advocating and getting the word out there. It is so comforting to hear from other mothers who are dealing with the same thing as me.  They are such a gift! Do not worry, Luca has been fearfully and wonderfully made.xoxo,April

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