This month is Autism Awareness Month and I’d like to share with you a saying that I think is so important when it comes to raising awareness of autism.
‘If you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism’.
Every person you meet with autism is unique and different to the next.
Just like every person you meet without autism is.
There are so many stereotypes when it comes to autism and a lot of ignorance.
People don’t understand that it is a spectrum disorder and affects people in different ways.
For example, it’s often an assumption that people with autism don’t make eye contact or have memories like Rainman.
I can tell you that my son Brody, who has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, makes eye contact with everyone he can and has no similarities to Rainman whatsoever (apart from being awesome).
Brody’s autism doesn’t define him but it is part of who he is and affects him on a daily basis.
Sometimes the symptoms of his autism can be hard for him.
He is non-verbal and struggles to communicate his wants and needs.
He has sensory issues that can be completely overwhelming and frustrating. The sight, smell, sound or touch of something that is too much for him can cause him great distress.
He has absolutely no danger awareness and a high pain threshold. The combination of the two is at times quite terrifying.
But Brody’s autism is also part of what makes him amazing.
I am proud to be his mum.
He has an infectious smile and laugh.
He loves to blow raspberries and wave to people. He loves jumping. He loves music. He loves trains.
He is YouTube’s biggest fan and currently likes watching a lady in Texas called Miraenda and her robots on repeat as well as various clips and videos about the Polar Express.
He is a brilliant boy, my biggest teacher and favourite lesson.
Let’s face it, we shouldn’t have to raise awareness of autism but awareness is key in understanding and acceptance.
If you would like to raise awareness here are some things you can do during Autism Awareness Month…