Autism Awareness April
This month is Autism Awareness with World Autism Awareness Day on Friday 2nd April.
It’s one of only seven health specific days endorsed by the United Nations, so it’s kind of a big deal.
It’s also a big deal to me as my son was diagnosed with Autism when he was four years old and then later with ADHD when he was five years old. He is seven right now and is flourishing thanks to the support network we have built up.
But it’s not always been that easy, and it’s certainly not that easy on a day to day basis, or for anyone with autism.
That’s why we need more awareness and understanding. I never want to excuse his behaviour, but Autism and ADHD can help explain some of the more challenging aspects of his personality.
Tales of Bear and the Frog.
I started blogging in 2018 as an outlet for my itch to write. What Katie Wrote was created and much of the content focused on my son. To protect some of his privacy, I use his nickname Bear instead of his real name. I hope that he won’t mind me sharing our story, but I wanted to share the good and the bad.
The idea is that if there was a parent who has just received an Autism diagnosis for their child and was awake at 2am worrying about their child’s behaviour, they would come across my blog and feel comforted to read about Bear and all his quirkiness.
I include my daughter in a lot of the posts too as Autism doesn’t just affect Bear and me, it also has a major impact on her. Her nickname is Frog and she surprises me every day with her tolerance and understanding she has for her brother, even when he is being mean or unreasonable. I’ve also seen her get some awesome digs in to him, like a sly punch or getting her way without him realising. Such a smart cookie and she will go far in life.
In our world, we are Team Weird. We embrace the weird as that is what makes us unique. I also don’t want Bear or Frog to think that being called weird is a bad thing. Many people use it as an insult, and I’m sure Bear will hear it used in a negative way plenty of times in his life.
By using it in a positive way now, I am hoping that he will take it as a compliment if it’s ever thrown at him as a slur.
As I mentioned, Bear was diagnosed at 4 years old, just before he started school. We had know there was something “extra” about him for a while and the diagnosis was a big relief in the end. People told me not to label him, but he was going to be labelled no matter what we did.
Instead of a medical label of Autism, he would have been labelled “that kid”.
- “That kid” that can’t sit still.
- “That kid” that is distributive and loud.
- “That kid” that can’t control his impulses.
- “That kid” that the other parents tell their child to stay away from.
Instead, with the correct diagnosis, he has a better label of “that kid”.
- “That kid” that plays in a different and cool way. Because all the kids like playing the games he makes up.
- “That kid” that has a special assistant to help him with his work. Since the very start of school, he has had a full time Education Assistant (EA) in the class with him, and they have all been wonderful!
- “That kid” that has special equipment in the classroom to help him concentrate. He’s had stretchy dinosaurs to help him at mat time and a stretchy band on his chair to help at lesson time.
- “That kid” that defies expectations. It’s easy to assume all sorts of things when you hear Autism, but he will make you think twice about any judgement you may have.
If you would like awesome blog posts for your own website or socials,
contact me and let’s see what we can create together.
You can check out some of my other content creation on Facebook and Instagram.