April is Autism Awareness Month

Do you know someone who has autism? Do you have a friend who has a child with autism? Do you have a relative with autism? Do you go to school with someone who has autism?

Chances are the answer to most of those questions is yes.

Autism is so vast in its definition and so broad. You can have 10 kids together all having autism and it all looks very different.

The important thing I want to share is to not see a label, a diagnosis. I want you to see my son and all his unique differences. Don’t we all have differences? I choose to look at his with pride and joy.

I love using people first language too with Charlie. I never say he is autistic. He is a person first with unique qualities that sometimes challenge him and other times make people marvel at what he knows and can express now. I tell people sometimes that he HAS autism, especially when we get strange looks or comments that are negative just to help give a quick swift explanation that people can understand and be sensitive too. Yes he looks down sometimes when you are talking to him. Yes he says how bored he is VERY LOUDLY during quiet moments. Yes he walks on his toes. Yes he cries and covers his ears when he hears loud noises or hears Bart Simpson anywhere. Yes he breaks out in a sweat instantly and flushed face when hearing his voice or seeing his pictures on video. IMG_6246_face0.jpg

This is my boy and I admire him so much. He works so hard. He really tries so hard to pull it together when the world is so challenging for him. He is my inspiration and joy. I love you Charlie!