Friday, May 1, 2009

Autism Awareness Month - So What !!

So what has Autism Awareness Month done for you? Did you think more about your child and their Autism? Let me guess, you think about it all the time anyway. An 'awareness' month, has not really changed how you deal with Autism. Am I right?

What about your family? Did they come over to the house against their self-imposed avoidance of your family? No? Huh, really. You mean they didn't offer to watch the kids? Give you a break? Nothing?!? Didn't they know that it's Autism Awareness Month?

OK, ok. But, I bet you saw THAT celebrity on the talk shows again with their latest book on curing Autism. Do you wonder if it's all about adding some extra zeros into their bank account? Most of the blogs and posts believe that. I don't know, I'm not them. I hope they have a higher goal then just money.

But, there sure have been lots of newspaper stories and local TV reports. So at least some 'awareness' is going on. Right? Did you hear about some sort of new laws... or mandates that came out of Washington this month? Have we seen any real details and how it can positively affect families of Autism? No? Me neither.

I was hoping that since President Obama had lots of changes in mind, that it would include Autism. Autism IS high on his list of things to do. It says so on the White House website. There is next years Autism Awareness Month I suppose. Hmmmm, there still are a couple of days before the end of the month. Maybe we'll get a surprise Autism birthday present!

Hey! Stop holding your breath, I'm afraid you'll pass out.

We should be grateful that we have our own month. But is it for us? Are we getting any real benefit? What do you think? Is it just a bunch of lip service? To make us think that the media, government, etc. do actually care and are concerned?

If not, you need to get off the couch and DO SOMETHING about it! Every MONTH needs to be Autism Awareness Month, where things are getting done to help your situation. Not just a bunch of talk. If you as a parent or a person of Autism don't speak up and I mean really do some shouting... otherwise, we are just sheeple (people that act like obedient sheep) and be thankful for whatever crumbs fall off the 'table' of resources and finances that happen to come along. I'm just one voice, we need many more!

Otherwise, Autism Awareness Month is not for parents or persons of Autism... is it?

Dad

8 comments:

*Jess* said...

Honestly, I don't think Autism Awareness Month IS for the families that have children with autism. As you pointed out, we are all too aware anyway. But for the majority of families who *aren't* exposed to autism on a daily basis, the month serves to educate the general population on what it means to have autism and to hopefully dispel some of the myths involved. And since my son is an active member of our community (that has shown time and time again little understanding for children) I am happy with each little news story or each new book or each celebrity appearance that comes out.

I blogged about what Autism Awareness means to our family.

http://staskawalker.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-2nd-world-autism-awareness-day.html

Mom26children said...

John,
I agree with Jess...Autism Awareness month was made to bring awareness to those around us..not to us.
We are more than aware of the autism around us. We see it every day.
What did I do for Autism Awareness Month...I approached every parent I saw in public, in school and in private who has a child or children with Autism.
I put my hand out and shook theirs. I let them know they are not alone. I gave them encouraging words and they, in turn, gave me a sense of peace. Peace from getting to meet some extraordinary parents and children.
I found, through these interactions, that there are a lot more out there on the positive side of Autism and less on "that actresses" side...
I do not frequent message boards and forums much anymore. They are so redundant.
I prefer a softer, friendlier attitude when it comes to advice on raising my kids.

Jeanette

Laura said...

I am a young adult with Asperger syndrome and also a psychology student. I have future plans to do graduate studies and be a researcher in educational psychology/special education (particularly autism research). From my volunteer work with children with autism and my own experiences in the education system, I realize a lot more needs to be done. One such example would be developing an appropriate communication device for a child with autism who has severe verbal and sensory difficulties and can't recognize symbols. Yes, I think there needs to be more action and less talking.

-Laura

Anne Basso said...

Hey, I'd love it if there was more action. But I'm also happy that people are learning that there's more to Autism than "Rain Man".

For me, Autism Awareness Month is about educating the rest of the world about what it means to have a family living with and on the Spectrum. How much can get done if people don't realize what we need?

Janice Anderson said...

Austism AWARENESS Month. That's pretty self-explanatory when you look at the middle word. The first four comments show they understand that concept. It is not the Jerry Lewis Autism Marathon, where people call in with pledges. If you lived closer to this family member, I would be babysitting on a regular basis; however, I live in a different state. Awareness is to bring understanding, not $$$. Most people are not in a position to offer copious amounts of money--or even moderate amounts--but many are willing to have their understanding and involvement increased when they are AWARE. That has been the goal of the month.

mamasmurf76 said...

I would love to email with you and your wife, i can not seem to find a place here where I have that option. I also have a child with aspberger's autism he also has high anxiety and sensory intergration dysfunction. I have taken some classes and put zakk into some great programs to help both of us understand what is going on with him. I would love to share my ideas with you. I have seen the first show on discovery health, my son and I watched it together. We both saw just a few easy things you can do to help the peace in your house. If you would please write back I can help you!!!
My son thought the show was great, he was grateful there was a show on with people like him... please please contact me... Like I said I can help you both and your great kids.

Sherrie said...

I am new to this blog, so I am a little unaware of what has been talked about in the past, but, I am thinking that this post was hilarious, the ironic comments! and am not so sure that it was meant to be a literal complaint about lack of fund raising. I am assuming the writer does get the reason for autism awareness month, but does want more action. But I wanted to put a plug for those actors. Yes, they maybe making money, and maybe their "cures" don't work for everyone, but we are seeing some help from some of the same treatments, so don't poo poo on it until you try it. And, it is these big name people who really are putting autism out there so the rest of us can be heard, I think. So, although I would love to have their money and resources, lets not be to quick to say "thanks, but no thanks". I am glad they are on our side.

Queenbuv3 said...

I don't think there is enough representation of the entire spectrum during "Awareness" month. Most of the people they put on t.v. are high functioning or have Asperger's. Or they are "cured" supposedly. Where are the kids like my son? Is he not appealing enough to be represented because he represents the reality for those of us whose children despite therapy and even the gluten and dairy free diet for a year are not "cured" or high functioning?

There isn't any talk during this month about the gut wrenching decision a lot of families are being forced to make when they don't have enough financial resources to keep their children at home. Where is the "Awareness" about these children who are getting older and their behavoir is unmanagable at home without support from the community and financially. Why don't they show the kids that are in group homes because their family was forced to put them there not because they WANT them there?

No one is talking about the future these kids have as adults and what the world is going to do to support them.