April 2nd is National Autism Awareness day. It is neat to see that in the short time we have been on this journey how many people now know what autism is or at least some form of the definition. When Jake was first diagnosed, nearly 6 years ago, I had to try to explain what autism was to us. Being new, I had a hard time. I don’t have to explain it very often anymore which is awesome! Accepting someone with autism is great but being aware is even better, in my opinion. When you are aware then you are more likely to accept. Autism is a large part of our lives and knowing that because of days like today, Jake can be Jake and others get it 🙂
For the past week or so I’ve talked to Jake about autism and what it means to us; to him. It is hard to explain to a child who has difficulty processing information. I really want to make sure I use the best words so he understands, words that don’t scare him or make him self-conscience which could lead to insecurity. Anyway, it is not easy. Over time he will understand more and more, it is just a slow process that we will talk about for a long time until I feel he fully understands.
The color chosen for autism awareness day is blue. Everyone is supposed to “light it up blue” and wear blue to show their support. I think it’s great but having a child on the spectrum who doesn’t fully understand the “rules” wants to wear red because that is his favorite color. Jake will wear blue, in fact, he has a lot of blue in his closet but when I was showing him the shirt he was going to wear he said he had to wear red. I asked him why and without missing a beat he tells me “I like red and that is my color” he walks away; end of discussion.
I think it is so awesome that the school district we live in recognizes the special needs community and does their part to raise awareness not only for autism but for other disabilities as well! Tomorrow, Jake’s school will be wearing blue to show their support, raising awareness and acceptance to those who are autistic. I love it! If you see Jake tomorrow, he will be wearing his red shirt and probably smiling! There is a meme that says Autism; Always Unique Totally Interesting Sometimes Mysterious. That’s my boy and I love it!!