Touched by Autism

I've got a few topics swirling in my head. I guess it would help if I posted more often... At least there would be no swirling because I'd be emptying my brain on a regular basis! So I'm going to empty gradually, I hope, and start with the most important first.

As you may know, April is Autism Awareness month. This month has a great deal of significance to my family because of my beloved daughter K3.

If you've never met K3, you're missing out on one of the best experiences of your life. She's shy, genuine, sweet, a lover of animals and blessed with a fabulous sense of humor. In spite of her autism, she totally gets Monty Python and Mel Brooks and can recite huge chunks of dialog from many of their movies. She gives awesome hugs and listening to her laugh is one of my greatest joys. It's the kind of laugh that pulls you right in and makes your lungs clench (mine anyway) from laughing with her!

Yes, it's been a tough path. And I spent years learning what she needed and how to advocate for her and disputing the opinions of the "experts" when they didn't jive with my maternal radar. But I wouldn't change a thing. Being K3's mom has enriched my life in ways I couldn't have imagined and frankly don't know how to express to you. It's just good. And it's created a bond between the two of us that feels unbreakable.

I tell you all this for a reason. Autism continues to touch our family's life.

My little Benny, my grandbaby is now recieving therapy for autisum. That my friends, is a damn hard sentence to type.

It has awakened many of the feelings I had when K3 first started developmental therapy. And I see the path K1, Benny's mama is going to walk with him. I feel protective, empathetic and at the same time powerless. There's nothing I can do to alter the journey they're about to take. It is what it is.

But I know what it isn't. It isn't genetic, it isn't due to vaccines, it isn't about glutton or vitamins or allergies. We don't know what causes autism. We just know it's effects. And we know they vary child to child.

K1 has the advantage of watching K3's journey. That's more than a lot of parents of newly diagnosed autistic toddlers have. She also has the support of her family and friends as well as any resources I can get her as part of my job at a disability agency.

As part of autism awareness month, I encourage you to learn what you can, read, reach out, donate... whatever works for you. Because you never know who is going to be touched by autism.

AG out