Autism Awareness Month is winding down. For us, every month is Autism Awareness Month…but I did think there was a tremendous amount of coverage which is always a good thing.
The coverage IS a good thing. But in my mind, the scope of coverage needs to change. It’s one thing to have show after show focus on children with autism, early interventions and the impact on parents having a child diagnosed the spectrum. But what about what happens next??
These amazing, struggling kids are going to be teenagers. They’re going to be adults. And how are we going to support these families?
Scotty is about to be a teenager. Soon, he’ll grow facial hair. How do you teach a kid with sensory issues to put a razor blade to his face and shave? How do you teach him that he’ll need to wear deodorant? How will he deal with surging teenage hormones?
In a few years, Scotty will be an adult. Where will he live? Will he have a job? Who will look after him when time moves on and his parents are older? I know that these are questions that everyone asks about their kids but to a parent of an autistic child, these are loss of sleep questions. These are all consuming questions. These are haunting, everyday questions for families of autistic kids.
If you reread this post – you’ll see a multitude of question marks. To me, that signifies what Scotty and my sister – Christine and Cuy – and all the other families of autistic kids face – so many question marks.
What can you do?? Make EVERY MONTH autism awareness month. Be aware. Donate your time and your money to the cause. Give a mom a knowing look of support when her kid is having a meltdown. Demand to your local goverment reps that funding is needed now and it needs to continue for ALL ages of kids and adults on the spectrum. Tell them that waiting lists are no longer unacceptable and that you won’t stand for it. Get involved. Be heard.
(This was what my sister discovered last Sunday am…in case you forgot the words to Green Eggs and Ham…have a read!)