"I may have been born different and misunderstood from birth, but I know there is a place for me, somewhere in this universe." - Alyson Bradley
Remember when I told you about my idea of "Crafting for a Cause"? Well, I am proud to introduce to you my second piece in the collection. This 5 x 7 inch canvas was created to show my support of Autism Awareness.
“My son is on the autism spectrum and while most of the time he seems like any other middle school kid, at times you can tell that there is something different about him. He tends to see the world in terms of black and white with no in between. He expects everyone else to view the world this way as well. You are either following the rules or you are not. He also doesn't understand social and non verbal clues very well. This causes misunderstandings between him and his peers. They tend to see him as that odd kid and they make fun of him frequently. He just wants to be accepted for who he is and not get bullied. I hope that people can learn to accept him and other people like him without prejudice. “ -Janelle
“Autism isn't typically something you think about regularly. Not if you're not directly affected by it that is. It is something that rarely crossed my mind, before my son. I had seen 'Rain Man', and I knew people whose children had it. But it didn't DIRECTLY affect me, so I didn't give it much thought. I always felt bad hearing people say their child was diagnosed, but I didn't realize that those people didn't need my pity. They needed my admiration. And my admiration and full on respect is what every person raising a child with autism gets now. What every person with autism gets now. My son is autistic. When I heard the news, I cried. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. He was my first born and now I wasn't going to experience any of the joys that a mother gets to experience with her child. I let that go on for about a day before I decided I wasn't losing something and this wasn't something that happened to me. It’s who my son is, it’s not anyone’s fault. But I needed to buck up and not fall apart for he needs me; to be his voice, to be his advocator, to be his friend, but most of all to be his mother. Autism is more than statistics. It’s more than a diagnosis. It’s a way of life. It’s hard, BELIEVE me it’s hard, but I wouldn't change my son for the world. It’s who he is, and who he is, is AUsome! “ -Amy
“Life with my awesome little man? Well life started off like any other, but life took a turn from like day one. Things that normal babies loved, our little guy didn't like. For one, the swing; he cried and cried as if someone was hurting him in the swing. Then there was the lack of sleep. My baby didn’t sleep. Well, nights turned into days and months with no change.
I couldn't find a doctor to listen to me. The ENT sent us to Easter Seals to get his hearing tested and from there we got started on our long journey. From occupational therapy, to speech therapy, therapy in a horse, family therapy. Had to brush my son. Had sleep studies. IEPs, learning the world of dealing with yearly IEPs and teachers and therapists.
Our life changed for the good. Yes, for the good. My son has taught me to be a better mother, a better friend and a better wife. Life gave us a curveball and we as a family had two choices. To face it head on or just let things come and not care. We took things on head on. Right down to my oldest child. I would love to see how my son sees the world, hears the world and feels the world. He has so much to offer this world. He is a caring, loving, smart boy. Might behind in reading and writing but he knows so much! He has so much to offer.
Do I think it was easy? If I said yes, I would be lying. Something that Jeremiah really can't do. He doesn't understand jokes as well. So yes, life has been hard on everyone in the family. Long nights of no sleep, meltdowns, lots and lots of doctors’ appointments. Oh and the therapies. But I am proud to say we have come a long way. My life is perfect & I wouldn't change it for anything.” -Michelle
“Autism - people talk about it and only see people like the movie ‘Rain Man’, they don't see the hundreds of others out there that have milder forms of this condition. People sometimes think of it as an illness or disability but I see someone that is unique and potential. I have had the greatest of pleasure of knowing several individuals that fall into this realm. By knowing them I feel my life has been enriched that much more. I have known one person for over 22 years I meet him while working as a firefighter and he amazes me on how much he remembers on what equipment and personnel he at the fire station. He is able to recite engine makes, models, and locations of every apparatus we have owned over the past 22 years. My greatest joy and honor has been to see my son whom is on the early range of the autism spectrum and how much he has grown. I am so proud of how he copes and thinks of other before himself. How much he has grown over the years. Things that most people take for granted require more thought and effort for him but he never complains. I am always amazed at all he can do and as I tell him "he is so much better than me", he is my hero and who I wish I could grow up to be.” -Steve
April is Autism Awareness Month & April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. You can learn more about it here.
Autism Speaks Autism Research Institute Autism Society