for autism awareness month in April, I didn’t do a great job in spreading the awareness. but then i think about it and this whole blog and what i do out in the community is autism awareness. it doesn’t stop on april 30. it’s every day.
talking to one of Jasper’s teachers at his day care, she asked when Jovie would be joining them there soon. updating her, she didn’t realise Jovie had Autism and we talked for a while about how Autism has effected our family.
that often happens, too. people say hello to Jovie in the elevator and wonder why she isn’t looking at them or doesn’t say anything. at the supermarket, people see Jovie’s long legs poking out from her stroller and give me that ‘she’s too big for a stroller’ look, or ‘why did you let her sit in the middle of the fruit aisle’ smirk. awareness is not easy, but i’m happy to explain as much as i can if people give me the time to do it.
there seems to be more coverage in the media & on the net about Autism which is awesome – Chloe Maxwell has written a book about her son Max and their life with Autism and a great new website Autism: In Our Words is now up and running.
one day when we’ve finished our genetic testing and have started school, i’d love to write my own book about our experience as a family too. (despite the fact that i’m no writer! i will figure it out). even though our diagnosis’ are similar, i can’t help but feel still different from any other family i’ve met or read about that is living with an Autistic child. (our paediatrician, this morning, said that our case was unique in that Jovie’s Autism is quite severe and that we may never know why she faces so many other challenges with her development).
at group meetings at Jovie’s school, i connect with the parents there in their grief and exhaustion, and i want them to come away feeling like they are doing a great job, no matter how small the victory is. i’d want people to know that we are trying everyday, and to try along with us. to listen.