Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Sunday, March 11, 2018

April is Autism Awareness Month!

I have a special place in my heart for those who live with Autism. Several blogs ago, I wrote about why Autism plays an important role in my life. I wrote about my sister's two boys, ages 12 and 15 who live with autism, and also introduced my awareness bracelets. 

So, what is Autism? According to Google dictionary----

"A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts."

Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a wide range of conditions and challenges. Social skills are affected as well as speech, including nonverbal communication. Stemming, or repetitive behaviors, are also very common. Many with Autism can have unique strengths.  

I have had the privilege to meet several who are on the Autism Spectrum, including Aspberger's. One little boy I know, has a great knowledge of sea creatures. I'm really not sure how he knows everything he knows about the ocean and it's inhabitants, but he is very knowledgeable! Incredible! One girl I know has a great gift of writing stores, including illustrations of the stories. 

I remember when my sister's oldest boy was about two, he would spin anything that was circular. He was amazing! He would be attracted to anything that was round. After gathering them up, he'd start them spinning on the table, run down the hall, and try to get back to the circles before they quit spinning. He made a fun game out of it. He would have been great on the Ed Sullivan Show (ok, most of you probably have no idea who that is or what that has to do with anything. Check it out here...). We thought it was so cute, that my sister put together a fun video of this. Later, we found that this was a red flag, and was a form of stemming. 

My oldest nephew is very good with computers and music. He has been know to pick out a song on the keyboard. 

The younger of my sister's two sons is a very loving young man. Most people think autistic children don't like to be hugged. This little boy is full of hugs. At the age of 12, he still has no words for communication, but he knows how to get what he wants known, lol. 

As you read this blog, you may wonder, "Why on earth is she posting pictures of bracelets?" Well, it is because I want awareness out. I want people to know more about Autism...and not just that it exists. Sadly, I have heard of many stories, where families are out in public with their autistic child, and people are down right RUDE! A child might have a melt down, and things are said, like, "Can't you control your kid?!" 

Autism is growing and society needs to know more about it. One other thing that society needs to be aware of is that these children are growing up to be adults...adults that have no wear to go, no way to support themselves, etc. So many communities do not have places for these individuals as adults. These children will out live their parents, and most do not have other family members to take care of them once this happens. 

Many of these children have the ability to learn skills, but as far as facilities that will help them to learn skills, well, there just aren't enough of them. I have talked to my sister and she has a great concern. She is the youngest in the family, and she worries what will happen to her boys once all of us are gone? 

I have started an Autism Awareness campaign with my surfer style bracelets which are made of the autism colors. Made of wax cording, most are waterproof. It's not much, but every little bit helps. 

I have been wearing my bracelets for almost two months, and it has brought awareness to those who see them. I have had several opportunities to talk to people about this subject. And...for each bracelet I sell, I will donate to different Autism Awareness nonprofit organizations. Locally, our university has an autism center. I have a craft fair and art show coming up with which I will be offering these. The money will go toward the university's autism center. In addition to the autism center, I hope to sell a lot of these this summer, so I can donate to Surfer's for Autism...my nephews love to surf and have had the opportunity to surf with them.  

In April I hope that we can get more awareness out about autism. 
See my other styles of Autism Awareness bracelets here!

No comments:

Post a Comment