One of my main focuses in my crusade to spread #Autism Awareness is a focus on the parents and families affected. Does that mean I don’t care about those actually diagnosed? Absolutely not!! I care about them a great deal.
The reason I try to shine the light on the parenting aspect is because all too often, the parents and families seem to get lost in the shuffle.
Think about it like this. Why do we need #Autism Awareness in the first place? The simple answer is that we need the general public to become more aware and understanding of people with #Autism. It’s more complicated than that but you get the general idea.
Now if we have a hard enough time raising awareness for those with autism, imagine how little awareness there is for the families and parents themselves.
I think that parents and families are the number one allies of those with #Autism. As a parent to 3 boys on the autism spectrum myself, I can attest to being in the trenches every single day, and cheering my kids on. I support them through every victory and every setback.
When you learn about an Autism parent or family, you can learn a great about the person with autism themselves.
This may not always be the case but in my experience, more often than not it is.
For example, everyone that comes to read this blog every day, reads my words. Hopefully however, those words give you a better understanding of not only what I experience as a parent, but what my kids with autism are experiencing as well.
It’s important to note that my family’s experience with autism is very likely to differ from another family’s experience.
Something else I feel very strongly about is building a support community for all those touched by Autism and their families, friends, teachers etc.
I know from personal experience how much time, effort, money, sanity, blood, sweat and tears can go into raising any child, let alone one with some of the challenges that autism can present. I certainly don’t mean to imply that autistic kids are somehow bad. I do mean to say that there can be considerably more challenge involved with a child on the spectrum.
When it comes to special needs parenting, my wife and I struggle quite a bit, as I know other parents with kids on the spectrum do as well.
I’ve learned a great deal from other parents with kids on the #autism spectrum. Their experience is an invaluable resource that goes underutilized. Speaking of underutilized, one of the absolute best sources of insight and experience can come from people with autism themselves.
I can’t begin to tell you how much absolutely amazing advice and insight I have been blessed with receiving from a person with autism. I think that parents could learn so much from person with autism.
I’ve not only received great advice and insight, but I made some really great friends.
I think that getting everyone connected is something we need to work on as a community. Recognizing and tapping the resources available is another.
One of the things I have done in order to try to provide parents, like myself, with connections, resources and support was to create a support forum called, My Autism Help. This forum was built to be a safe place for parents, families, friends, teachers and those with autism themselves, to come and share insight and experience.
I recently rebuilt the site and forums so we are starting from scratch. You can find the forums here.
Please join up and be sure to look for the email confirmation. It’s free and a great way to help find answers to your autism related questions.
“one of the absolute best sources of insight and experience can come from people with autism themselves,” If only organizations that are so big and influential to the autism community (looking at you Autism Speaks), would see this too. Instead, they merely see us as nonexistent. Or possibly “cured” when we turn 18. We get ignored a lot, services turned down, or are non existent. Do you know how few Service Dog programs will help an autistic adult, compared to autistic children? Very few.
I’m glad you share what you do, and I keep sharing what I can. 🙂
@Silachan well said. Well said…