Thursday, April 2, 2009

WORLDWIDE AUTISM AWARENESS DAY


Today is Worldwide Autism Awareness Day. Actually, this month of April is Autism Awareness Month as well. Why is this important? Because for one, the light of my life and my joy, my son Noah has autism. I've been fighting this fight for over 7 years now. Another reason, because 1 in 150 kids is being diagnosed with this condition. It NEEDS awareness, people have to find out the facts about it. Parents need to know the warning signs, because the earlier you see the signs, the better chance your child has of responding to treatments and therapies.

What IS autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. (Copied from the Autism Society of America's website).

My son Noah is on the severe side of the spectrum of autism. He has made huge progress and improvements the last couple of years, but there is still a long way to go. He finally started to talk after age 6, very simple one-word copying of words he heard. Now he can ask for what he wants, "banana please" is his favorite request. Most parents would think nothing of a child who says NO, but my son just found this word and he is almost 10. And he is using it properly, once even to answer a question.

This journey is full of sadness, for the child who may never be, for the "loss" of your child when you realize he doesn't communicate or look at you. The devastation of hearing the words, "your son (or daughter) has autism." Because you know, life will never be what you hoped it would be for your child. But then time goes on and the sadness lessens.

Some days we may cry off and on all day, because of stress or sometimes it hits you that your child is stuck inside his or her own head. Some days we get mad, because people in the store are staring and/or voicing their opinion about something they know nothing about. Sometimes I have to say, He has autism, he isn't just being a brat!

Then there are days (or moments) of joy. Us parents of children with autism find JOY in the milestones, no matter how "late" they reach them. It is the joy of knowing that he/she can do it, when doctors and others have said it would never happen. He or she lets you in just for a brief moment and you know you connected with your child. Those are the days we live for!

Thank you for reading about my journey with my son Noah. Please read the following websites for more information about autism.

http://www.autismweb.com/
http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer
http://www.autism.com/

and please check out this blog post about autism awareness day on a team blog I belong to:
http://handmadeforlife.blogspot.com/

19 comments:

Candance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candance said...

So touching! Noah has come such a long way!!

mattscraftywife said...

Thanks Candy! :) You've been here for me since before he was diagnosed! I love you.

♥WORDZ OF LIFE♥ said...

Oh Matts!!!

Love you so much!!! I UNDERSTAND every word you said... my Tyler... his autism...our journey with him...the people's stares, the absolute JOYS when the smallest thing is accomplished that so many take for granted with their typically developing children... Bravo...for sharing that part of your heart with us!!! I'm giving you a standing ovation!!! And so is Daddy God!

mattscraftywife said...

Thank you SO much Jeanette! I knew you'd understand everything I wrote! It was hard writing from the heart... but I'm glad I did it. Love ya!

Cherry's Creations said...

Anastasia, so well written! Isn't it amazing how God bless us when we put our expectations aside and embrace what we have? Bless you for sharing and remember I'm here for you too!

mattscraftywife said...

Cherry, thanks so much. I'm here for you too hon. :)

Luscious Lather said...

Thank you for sharing your story and your heart with us, Anastasia! God has surely put Noah lovingly into your life because He knew that you were the perfect mother for this very beautiful and special child. You face each day with hope, love, patience and celebration -- just as He intends for all of us. You have had many trials, but you have had many miracles and you have made the choice to recognize those victories along the way. I believe that there are many more miracles to receive, much more joy and a whole lot more love! To God be the glory! I am so blessed and happy to have a woman like you as my friend. Thank you, dear God, for Anastasia! ♥Diane

mattscraftywife said...

Oh Diane, don't make me cry now. No snubbing! LOL Thank you so much, your words mean a lot to me.
*hugs*

Karen Gill hidingplacebeadery.etsy.com said...

Thank you for the insight, and for sharing your heart. Big hug!

Karen

mattscraftywife said...

Thank you Karen! Thanks for reading.

knitblitz said...

I'm glad to read about your son. I know you're a great mom! Hugs!

mattscraftywife said...

Oh thank you Knitty! *hugs*

Matic Studio said...

You know you and Noah are in my prayers and thoughts every day! And you keep anticipating those milestones, sweetheart, cuz I am praying for them!!!!! Love you!

Hampton House said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful, blog honoring you precious son. Thanks so much for sharing you and him with us.

mattscraftywife said...

Thank you so much Leah!

Thanks HH!

The Point said...

very touching and I'm sure hard to write. thanks for sharing and helping raise awareness.

Sister Threads said...

What a wonderful way to tell all those complex things that families with autism do. I am so blessed to have you and so many others who
love me, love my children and love
the same God that I do.
God bless you in every aspect of life, dear friend.
Stasi

mattscraftywife said...

Thank you thepoint, for reading and commenting!

Thanks Stasi, you're a blessing to me!