Thursday, April 2, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day

Today I celebrate World Autism Awareness Day not because I love autism, but because I love someone living with it. I am a mother of a child with autism. I will wear this label for the rest of my life, like so many other mothers now and before me. 
Six years ago, autism was just something I once heard about in a high school child development class. Five years ago autism made it's entrance and became the main feature in my day to day life without it even asking for my consent. How. Rude.
Five years ago I danced around the thoughts of Clee playing little league, shooting hoops with his dad, sleepovers, and learning the ropes of boyhood together. Five years later I dance around the thoughts of him one day speaking, being able to walk in a parking lot without holding my hand, me being able to console him when he cries with no visible explanation for hours on end, being able to tie his own Chuck Taylors, not having to constantly worry about him when he is not in my presence, the list goes on and on.
John Lennon said it best when he wrote "life is what happens to you, while you're busy making other plans".
has it's hardships, but it also comes with it's blessings. I've learned to appreciate the little things that I once glanced over. I get to look into Clee's gorgeous blue eyes and see the soul of great wisdom. I get to see genuine happiness at it's best. I get to feel the overwhelming spiritual presence that hangs over Clee when he is in my arms. I get to be the mother of one of Heavenly Fathers special angels.
Clee's take on life is beautiful to me. He is a charmer at it's finest. His smile is brilliant and contagious. He makes me smile, swoon, laugh, and proud. He has become the family angel, and has earned that status well.
After coming to terms with Clee having autism I realized that "normal" was nothing but a lame stereotype and being different was beautiful.
Today and for the rest of the month of April, try to educate someone you know about autism. It maybe a loved one, friend, neighbor, stranger, or even yourself. Knowledge is power and the key to one day finding the cause that would one day lead to finding a cure to the disorder that effects 1 out of every 150 children. We can all do our part in sharing our knowledge of autism with the people who are unaware.
To learn more about autism, click here.
To learn the signs of autism, click here.
For coverage on World Autism Awareness Day, click here.
To see some of the beautiful faces of autism (including Clee), click here.


Betsy said... beautifully said! Hugs to you and Clee today! xo

april said...

this was beautifully written, nat. you need to submit this somewhere - your local paper or wherever. you can express your voice well and clearly in writing.

Meghan said...

I LOVE this post!!

Grandma Gerri said...

Ditto on what April Said!
WOW that was so inspiring, I am so impressed with you and Clee, neither of you ever cease to amaze and inspire me. Love to all of you.

Tice said...

I'm with April. You should submit it somewhere. And I agree. Clee has Heaven all around him. And he teaches us all so much about unconditional love and acceptance. I've said it before; I'll say it again. Clemon makes my heart happy.

Sally Sirmans said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. It made me tear up and I can't cry right now. That's a compliment.

You know some people shirk at adversity. You didn't. Autism made you a better person. Amazing.