Thursday, April 02, 2015

World Autism Day 2015

This is my seventh year of participating in World Autism Awareness Day. It's been over seven years since our son was officially diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), about a year after I started worrying something might be going awry with our son's development.

The last year or two have been especially wearing: special meetings, constantly out-thinking the Box, the Man, the big A, the System, the Specialists, the Bureaucracies ... the economy (and our income) taking a nose dive ... serious health issues from all sides that just keep coming ... and being an older parent to begin with. It's all starting to tell on us.

Dealing with Autism, it's a Life Journey. We all have them, true. This Life Journey with Autism is intense and unrelenting. I just have to think about the top struggle recently to get our son to deal with the literal ins and outs of eating recently that had gone from okay to life-threatening over the course of a few short months. How to balance that constant worry and focus with the other parts of life and other family members.

It makes the little things in life so important.

Its so easy to get caught up in the iPhone, iPads, hair styles, and movies. The vacations, the selfies, the food photos in social media (raising my virtual hand here) ... they are fun, and fun is needed in life.

The little things ... rare quiet moments of connecting with loved ones and good friends - in spite of everything tough. That is an achievement. Something to savour. Ten quiet minutes in the garden. Watching your child succeed against all odds - not in a 4.1 kind of way, either. Reading a book on their own. Exploring their world with enthusiasm and confidence. Completing an assignment on their own with their class. Being handed a dandelion to wish on. Having your sleep invaded because someone had a bad dream and can't let go until they curl up with you for a bit. Funny random songs and dances. Hugs, when I least expect it and totally need it.

They are all still there and possible.

Have courage. Have hope. Consider the little things. Consider others, with a more open mind.

Our world can sure use it.