Autism has been a popular word as of late, and with good reason as more and more children are being diagnosed with it. What is autism though? What does it mean to be on the spectrum? Doctors are still trying to figure out a lot of these things, but I think a clearer understanding has come to the community as a whole.
I think it is important to realize that even though awareness is at an all time high there is more that needs to be done. The signs to knowing that someone has autism or is on the spectrum also need to be made known. There are helpful websites that have symptoms listed and things to look out for as a parent. One such example of helpful resource is the Autism Speaks website. It has a lot of great information about autism and helps parents learn more about this condition.
It is imperative that if you think your child or yourself have autism that you contact the proper people. Autism is not curable at this time, but it is treatable. I found out I was autistic when I was fourteen and, from personal experience, had an extremely hard time living day-to-day in what would be considered “normal life”.
The help I have received throughout my life has been amazing and was definitely needed. I would not be here today if it were not for my diagnosis though. That may sound strange, but for me it was as if a heavy weight was lifted off of my shoulders. When I found out, I began to advocate for myself, I got more specialized help and I became better as the days went by. My road to conquering autism was a long one though. I met adversity and hardship throughout my journey.
Self-advocacy helped me out a lot, but that doesn’t work for everyone. It is important for parents to advocate for their children as well. A support network needs to be set up for the sake of the child. Parents of autistic kids shouldn’t be forced to do it all alone. Instead, they should seek help for themselves, confide in others, and listen to what other’s think they should do. An example for myself is my obsession with Star Wars. It calms me down tremendously. It doesn’t make any sense, but it works, and that is a very important tidbit to latch onto. It doesn’t have to make sense if it works for helping yourself or your child.
Autism is confusing for everyone and everyone affected by autism needs support. April is autism awareness month and April 2nd was the national autism awareness day. Join the world to light it up blue this month and spread awareness throughout your communities, your workplace, and your school. Blue is the autism awareness color and according to Autism Speaks 157 countries spread awareness by wearing blue, buying blue lightbulbs or going to autism awareness events. Be apart of this, light it up blue this month!