April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, the official holiday of my people. This day kicks off a month of Autism Awareness. For many of us, it means we'll see more information regarding autism in the news and on television programs. While I am grateful for the extra press, I think it is important for us to remain vigilant throughout the year. I have no problem sharing the fact that my son has autism with anyone who will listen. It is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I am extra proud of his determination to navigate in a world full of people who do not understand the challenges he must overcome in order to take part in everyday life. I believe that the individuals who know our story will pay more attention to the upcoming media blitz regarding autism simply because they know someone who has it. It is my hope that they will all learn something new and maybe share that knowledge with another person. In my opinion, that will go a long way to raise awareness among the average citizens of our society.
Autism Awareness Day will be like any other day for me as I have not once forgotten about autism in the last two years. But, I will wear one of my awareness shirts and continue to take every opportunity to spread the word about the disease that is stealing a generation of children. I hope you will do the same.
Be sure to visit WorldAutismAwarenessDay.org for more information on this important day. They have a list of events around the world and also have free e-cards available to send to friends and family.
Autism Speaks has a list of media appearances that they'll be doing on the 2nd.
Generation Rescue has posted the schedule for Jenny McCarthy's media tour to promote her new book, Healing and Preventing Autism.
On this special day, I hope you will find time to celebrate. No, I'm not suggesting that you celebrate the wonderfulness of autism. I'm saying you should celebrate your accomplishments as the parent of a child on the spectrum. To say it is 'hard work' is a gross understatement. Frankly, I think some of us deserve an award just for getting out of bed every morning. Since we are unlikely to have a parade thrown in our honor, try to remember that you are making a difference in your child's life with your tireless efforts. The rest of the world may not understand what you are going through just yet, but this month, a few more people will come to know your struggles. In the meantime, you've always got me and I think you're awesome.
Let's get out there and educate, inform, enlighten and debunk some myths!