Autism Awareness Month
April is autism awareness month. I ask you to take a moment to read how we can make a more inclusive community for children like my son.
Emmett is 8 years old. He is non speaking. And amongst his Autism diagnosis he is also diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome and Epilepsy.
I ask that you take the time to be kind to him and us his family. We are trying our son is trying his hardest to fit in a world that was not design for his needs.
When you see him hitting us because he is overwhelmed by his environment and is sensory overloaded.
When you see him riding on the grocery cart and see his 8 year old body sit on the baby/toddler seat. Yes we know he is to big for it. But developmentally he doesn’t and it keeps him safe and makes it possible for us to get some food.
When you see our van parked at the handicap parking. And wonder why we are parked there. There is very solid reasons why we are parked there. If Emmett has a meltdown we need to be in close access to our car so he can safely calm down, if he has a seizure and needs his emergency medication, or if he gets tired because he has low muscle tone and his legs can only take him so far without getting tired. Just know that this pass makes it possible for him to go out in the community.
When he is loud making grunting noises in a very quiet waiting area at doctors offices, clinics, or at a restaurants. The noises are part of his communication and they mean something.
When he is spitting out food and making a mess and you are sitting next to us and wonder why an 8 year old is spiting food out of his mouth. Emmett has dysphasia and sensory issues which makes it difficult for him to swallow, which causes him to overstuff his mouth, which causes the spitting of food. He is trying not to do this but is a skill he has not yet succeeded. So please
When he comes and sits next to you and gets extremely close to you invading your personal space. He has no awareness of personal space. We are working on it. Please.
When he is covering his ears it means he is overwhelm with noises, people’s voices, or something in his surroundings and is trying his best to cope with this the only way he knows how.
How can you Be Kind.
Is simple just smile at us instead of commenting rude things, rude stares, or making assumptions that we are bad parents. We special needs parents just want our society to accept our kids and their differences and to be kind to them. Our hearts ache when they can't have access to their community because of peoples' s ignorance.