Friday, April 2, 2010

World Autism Awareness Day 2010

Today is world autism awareness day. Autism effects 1 out of every 110 children, 1 in 70 boys. One of those numbers is my son. He might be 1 in 110 in the eyes of autism, but to me he's 1 in a million. (enter cheesey grin) I'm so sappy.

In the past year we've hit some pretty big milestones. Allow me to share a few highlights.

Clee can now jump into a swimming pool and (AND!) go completely under water and hold his breath for a good amount of time. I will be honest by saying this does scare me a wee bit.

Airplane rides are a lot easier when you call ahead several times to inform them you're about to travel alone with your autistic child. On both of our flights the stewardess informed passengers around us of our "situation" before we even got on the plane. I got to tell ya, it's kinda nice when people look at you with empathy not irritation and you didn't even have to explain your "situation".

The quotation marks around the word situation in the last paragraph is a little Parenthood humor for all of you who watch the tv show, Parenthood.

I've realized that even though I feel uncomfortable with pity being directed at me in most cases, I do like it when I'm sitting next to you on a plane for 4 hours.

Clee has taken that huge step in potty training and I'm happy to say we've been diaper free for 2 months. Have you ever had to change a diaper that wasn't a babies? Yeah, it's not good news.

Clee gets really upset when he pees all over the floor instead of in the potty where he happens to be sitting at the time. I don't know why. It's not like he's the one who has to clean it...

Clee likes Disney/Pixar Cars, toy cars. He collects them and keeps them in his little green basket. Whenever he goes to the store with me, we have to go look at the cars. I'm a sucker and I always get him one to add to his collection. I don't take him very often. He likes the ones where their eyes move. He really likes the Lightning McQueen ones, there are several versions of him. It's the first toy he's really liked.

He likes The Beatles and They Might Be Giants. He loves it when his dad plays Beatles RockBand. This is first time he's ever shown an interest in what we listen to.

His adult two front teeth came in. They're huge compared to his head. He's going to have really crooked teeth, bless his heart.

DisneyWorld deserves a big round of high fives when it comes to the way they treat their special needs guests.

Clee worked hard on an art project at school this year. In fact, it was chosen to be displayed at our local library during the school districts art show.

Clee hasn't chewed on his shirts for more than 4 months. Please pray along with me that we are finally over the shirt chewing. We bought him a few cute polos for spring. It would be a dream if those cute polo shirts remained chewed free.

Clee likes/needs someone holding his left hand almost at all times. Needless to say it's hard driving down the road with one hand on the steering wheel and the other reached to the back seat holding his hand.

I've made peace with the most likely possibility of having a life long nonverbal son, huge milestone for me.

He likes the harmonica. He likes to have an audience when he plays the harmonica. I love him when he plays the harmonica.

I continue to be proud of Clee and the strides he makes everyday.

Our life with autism isn't easy. We face daily challenges, but with the challenges come great accomplishments.
It might be a tough road to be on, but it's the only road we know.

Learn more about autism, click here.

For last years World Autism Awareness Day post, click here.


Grandma Gerri said...

Woo Hoo!!! for all of you these were some great accomplishments!

sorichfamily said...

what an awesome family! and what a sweet and wonderful boy! i loved all the milestones of the year...that is a lot to do for one little guy...he is amazing!

thank you for sharing him with us! i especially love his smile and his blazer!!

we love clee!!! :)

Meg said...

love, love, love, love you Clee!!!! Serious accomplishments. Way to go. Keep up the hard work.

Lindsey Montague said...

You and your adorable family are AMAZING!!

You, Natalie, are AMAZING.

Congrats on all the milestones, and good luck reaching even more.

(my special code to comment is "brethe"... appropriate much?)

LINDSEY said...

Those are some pretty big milestones...congratulations! I love this post. I love your perspective on love, kids, challenges, and life. Please never stop blogging. :)

Elaine said...

What a year! What accomplishments! What a boy! What a mom!

katherine said...

k, this post just made me cry! congrats on all the amazing and huge milestones!!! i love the way you speak of each of your darling children, and this was an especially sweet tribute!

ps, i am bummed you have moved! i am heading to CT to photograph my new little Rowan, and other CT friends . . . i will miss your sweet faces!

take care!!