World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day
As the official 'blogger' for Effort Trust I needed no help or research on my topic today. As the proud mother of two Autistic young ladies I am writing this from the bottom of my heart. Autism is what I call a "frustrating disorder". With my experience having children on both ends of the spectrum I have learned a lot about this disorder over the years. My girls, now 13 and 17, were diagnosed with PDD/ASD at the age of about 2 ½ years old respectively.
My oldest, now with a label of PDD or Aspergers (not commonly used anymore) is a successful grade 11 student earning an academic diploma with her peers and yet cannot relate to any of them on a social level. Her memory is impeccable and she pulls 90's in Science yet she cannot effectively count out change for purchases and lacks true 'common sense'.
My youngest is on the severe end of the spectrum and is what I call "semi-verbal" (she uses minimal words to express her needs). This young lady is exceptionally bright when it comes to problem solving. Diagnosed with severe Autism and labeled as having a cognitive and expressive level of a 2 year old, my daughter can effectively maneuver through any computer program put in front of her, cleverly finding Disney Princesses wherever they may be! There is no TV, DVD, or touch-screen device too difficult for this genius. She is the reason that I call this the "frustrating disorder". I watch her day in and day out, struggle with one simple word and yet it takes her only seconds to finish a 40+ piece puzzle. She doesn't say "mom" or "I love you" unless prompted, but she is often upset when I leave her and takes my hand when I come home to tell me she's glad to see me. In my home there is a lot of 'unspoken' communication and love. It's NEVER quiet and ALWAYS go-go-go. Never a dull moment!
On April 2, the World recognizes this day as World Autism Awareness Day (3rd official year). Please join myself and Effort Trust in showing your support. Below are some links to the Canadian and Ontario Autism websites that offer information on the disorder (knowledge is key – these kids are not 'brats'), as well as where to find caregiver assistance and what you can do to support these much needed organizations. We live in world where no one should feel alone. Never underestimate what someone can do. My girls surprise me every day with their extraordinary capabilities despite their labels. Parents and caregivers need respite and should NEVER be too proud to ask for help. It took me many years to admit that I could not do this alone and through the assistance of many organizations like these, I now see a future for my girls.