“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……