April is Autism Awareness Month. I know in our cynical world where such buzz words as “awareness” are thrown about like media confetti it can be hard to feel sympathy, and not apathy, for the cause it is connected to. Sure, this is a fundraiser at the core, it centers on raising funds for a charity. But…it is not really for me or the Autism Society of America, I created it and they will receive the final donation of ALL the proceeds from my books sold in April, true, but it is not for either of us. It is for everyone. Every child who has trouble controlling their impulses and for those forced to watch them exhaust themselves through their: rocking, spinning, hand wringing and flapping, or self-injurious behaviors. For every parent, teacher, or therapist who has had to look into tired red-rimmed eyes as their autistic charge struggles to communicate, for every autistic person ravaged by a torrent of emotions they cannot control – going from happiness and joy to depression and anger faster than the turn of an engine, for those who have seen breakthroughs after years of toil and for those who have felt the crush of the dreaded backslide, for those who sigh at well-meaning yet annoying ads of vacant vapid children posted to inform the public of autism and think, “That’s not my kid.”…and most importantly, this is for those people who stare at those afflicted with autism when they cross paths at parks, zoos, schools, or even simply out shopping, for those who glare and mutter something derisive just loudly enough to be heard, “Can’t they control their child?”
It is for everyone…the word awareness may have lost some of its potency, but the sentiment behind it remains – awareness that all life is sacred and wonderful, awareness that if you don’t help others when you can, who will be there to help you when life inevitably knocks you down? Please, help me, the ASA and everyone this April, spread Autism Awareness…the awareness of life in all the forms it takes.
- My website
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