Autism Awareness~30 Days of snapshots: Day 2

The Beauty of snapshots, and the way they work is that they sometimes come to mind all out of order ( as in not in the actual order of when events occured) Earlier today I wrote about a Memory that happened when my son was much younger, a snapshot from my mind. This post is a more current Memory, one I DID happen to have my Camera for, one that is more a series of events blurred into one, more like an album.

My two girls have been having friends over for as long as I can remember…Birthday Parties, sleep-overs…my house is almost always full of kids, but until recently, my son did not do this. we did SMALL Parties for His Birthday, just the 5 of us. We did not do Play-dates. He just couldn’t handle it.  This past Fall he ASKED for a Party for His 11th Birthday! So Invitations were sent to a VERY short exclusive List ( see my post here “Balloons, Bubbles and Tears”).

There is one wonderful child who has found his way to the title of Best Friend when it comes to my son ( This is a HUGE First ). Today as we drove to the ballpark for another round of Miracle League Baseball, we saw our friends sitting at a red light, also headed to where we were and my son started jumping up and down in the back seat ” That’s My Friend!!!” He squealed. “I Go Play Baseball with My Friend!!”

To see my son making REAL Connections is a precious beautiful thing! To the Parents out there teaching your children to look beyond the differences, beyond the disabilities, to reach out and get to know kids who struggle socially, THANK YOU! Words can not express how much each of these kids has blessed my life by loving my son. Seeing His face LIGHT up as he Runs to Hug one of His friends is a precious memory. To watch as they patiently spend time with Him, playing what HE wants to play, not getting bent out of shape when he has an off day and wants to be alone….THAT is awareness.

We have come so far, was not long ago, my son had NO friends ( or if He did, He couldn’t tell me about them) except for Thomas the Tank Engine, Buzz Lightyear, ect. The Patience of These children has paid off…He now knows EACH of them by NAME! (This is HUGE Folks!!!) and RUNS to Hug or High Five them when he sees them! He ASKS to go play with them BY NAME!  He ASKED to invite them to His Birthday Party. So remember when the road seems long, and it seems like all is lost, you NEVER know when something is going to just Click…and when it does, WOW! It is BEAUTIFUL! Be Patient, and as Dori fish from “Finding Nemo” would say “Just keep swimming”……

Autism Awareness~30 Days of snapshots: Day 1

“To me, awareness is a picture.  It’s a montage of snapshots and video clips from the small moments that make up the life of a person with autism.  Littered within this media are the big and small moments; the moments that melt your heart and those that test your resolve; the moments that capture the ordinary and those that frame the extraordinary. They’re the snippets of video that you proudly post on YouTube for the world to see, and those that you preview through the view finder on your camera and ultimately decide to delete because they didn’t quite catch your child at their best.

To be aware of autism one must have that complete picture, because awareness is the sum total of these images.”(From red shoes, Autism Blues)

I LOVE the concept of looking at Autism in this light. Those who know me, know I NEVER ( well almost never) go anywhere without my Camera. It is always ready to capture those moments. My Mind works much the same way. There are moments in my son’s life that I missed with the camera because of times when I did not HAVE a Camera. Moments like when He was a year old, and my husband was going through Police Academy training. Dak had started regressing, they eye contact, speech and affection had slowed to almost a halt. He did not understand why Daddy wasn’t home, all He knew was His routine was being messed with, and he would NOT sleep. I was pregnant with my youngest. It was during this time that one of my most precious memories occurred. Dak has always had a fascination with emergency vehicles, and it provided a wonderful opportunity for His Pappaw ( my husband’s step-father).

Every night while my husband was at the Police Academy, Pappaw would come to the house, get down on the floor with Dak, and they would play with his Firetrucks. At this stage in Dak’s life, He would Go until he fell asleep, and almost never landed IN his toddler bed.  I would watch from the door to Dak’s room as Pappaw sat on the floor, patiently pressing the buttons to make the firetrucks go, make the lights flicker, and Dak would toddle around, dragging His blanket my grandmother made Him, giggling and enjoying every moment, and eventually landing curled up close to Pappaw and the symphony of emergency vehicle toys, sometimes actually IN Pappaw’s lap, and drift off to sleep at which point I would step in, and relocate Dak to His bed, and Pappaw would go home, only to return the next night and repeat the ritual.

The above Memory is one of many snapshots in my mind of my son and Our Journey on the path Autsim has taken us that screams Awareness. Of the ways people have shown Love to Him along the way. The Bond between Him and His Pappaw was solidified in those early years, when we KNEW something was wrong, but did not have a diagnosis yet. In the Midst of questions, worries, negativity from some people in our world, Pappaw saw a window, a common love for Emergency vehicles ( He is a retired Volunteer Firefighter) and took the chance to step into Dak’s world, and for that I am forever greatful.

until next post…..remember, Autism is NOT a death sentence. All it takes is Patience and Time to see the world as they see it. People with Autism are NOT Broken, they are just wired differently. As we walk through the Month of April, of Autism Awareness Month, I will try to show you snapshots of what Awareness means to me….of the awareness and love others have shown me, shown my family……