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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our World with Autism

Autism RibbonIn order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.

What is Autism:
Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

Autism Facts & Stats
  • Autism now affects 1 in 88 children
  • Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls
  • About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood
  • Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)
  • The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet most underfunded
  • Children with autism do progress
  • Autism is treatable, not a hopeless condition
Living with Autism is just as complex and challenging as the spectrum itself.

529489_10151864980533957_1336530411_nI love these posters because they highlight
                    the multi-facetness of living with Autism.

    Autism is both Challenging and Rewarding

          Complex and Lifelong

                Yet Simple and a Day to Day Living

      Beautiful and yet Ugly at times
                       Bitter and Sweet

        Filled with Love yet Distance
 A Blessing yet a burden at times
                   Amazing and Confusing

autism is2[6]Living with Autism is definitely a journey in:
                                and love… 
                                    the unconditional kind of love

I shared a little about our special guy in these post:
Happy Birthday Jonathan
kids 1

Our World of Autism looks a little like this:

Our special guy wants to be
              close and a part of things
                           yet a little distant.

He rather eat his meals outside…   
                         by himself.

Most days he eats nonstop which is a job in itself keeping him out of the kitchen some days. 

Yet it was exciting when he got a little belly because he normally would loose weight instead of gain.

DSC00268Doing things as a family can be challenging, keeping a constant eye on our special guy, yet wanting to just relax and enjoy the day. 

But he lives life to the fullness and finds joy in the simple things of life. 
A bowl of ice cream,   
    a walk to the park,
         a drive in the car,
      a drink at 7-11 or a movie from the library. 

He finds contentment in little things.

fam 5We will take him to the store with birthday money and he will buy one or two simple things… just what he needs for now. 
He knows how to live in the here and now and wears his emotions on his sleeve.   
When he is happy…  he is full of joy.   
When he is sad… he weeps with a depth of sorrow.

He loves to watch movies and t.v. – an odd combination of different selections.
             Which should not surprise us because that is his world… 
      from Veggies Tales  to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle all the Way... 
                                 from Blues Clues to Daddy Day Care.
And he has his favorite parts, whether it be a line or a song, or a sound or a word…
               he will play these parts over and over and over and over…. you get the idea.
This can be funny, reveling, interesting and annoying all at the same time.

Then there are those quirky, strange things that fascinate him,
                  for reasons we sometimes can’t fully understand.
The breaking of glass bottles… we think he likes the sound the glass makes when it breaks.  But when you get a visit from your neighbors every other week because they find broken glass on the side of their house… it is a challenge to get him to stop this fascination that has become an obsession.
And there have been many of those fascinations that have become obsessions…
               just when you get him to overcome one a new one pops up.

Yet the wonder he has for life is intriguing and I am often left wondering…
what does he see that I do not and I feel as though I am missing out on some great          mystery that he sees and I can’t.                 
His energy level is unending and it seems at times that his insides want to explode out of his body…   like he can’t contain or control it.
But that same energy he takes into worship and he worships with and abandonment
                        that brings people to tears.  

I know he feels the presence of the Lord in a way we wish we could,
but we allow obstacles, that he does not have, to get in the way.


Above all the challenges and trials, we know that he has been fearfully and wonderfully made,

our special son is a marvelous masterpiece of a God who has created him with a great purpose…
to be a reflection...
                 of his Heavenly Fathers Glory

Reflecting and Celebrating Autism...
as He continues to reveal Himself to us through this world of Autism…   
                       Our World with Autism

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