Friday, April 3, 2015
It's April, again. For this one whole whopping month of the year a large portion of the world will tout its awareness and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder. For thirty out of three hundred and sixty five days there will be puzzle pieces, blue lights, red shoes and jigsaw piece awareness ribbons everywhere. And to be absolutely honest with you, I pretty much hate April.
For me, April is one long month filled with a lot of reminders that two of the people I love most in this world need one stupid month a year dedicated to trying to get the world to accept them as different, not less. April is depressing for me.
In this family we experience autism awareness and autism acceptance 365 days a year. There are moments of happiness so huge it nearly overwhelms me. There are moments of pride so fierce it steals my breath. There is love, unconditional, just the way you are now love every day.
And there are moments of grief and anger so heart wrenching I physically ache. Every April I feel that anger, sadness and grief more than I do during the other eleven months. I think it's because it is "Autism In Your Face 24-7" month. There is just no escaping that your child's life will always be harder, a little (or a lot) more dangerous and more emotionally painful (for them and you) in April.
For me, April is thirty days of remembering parents pulling their child away from Chris when he was in elementary and middle school because he was "weird", he was a "trouble maker" and the one that cut the deepest, "other kids won't be friends with you if you are friends with him". April is thirty days where I am constantly reminded that there will ALWAYS be people who make fun or stare at my fourth grader because if someone else cuts his paper he cries. It is thirty days of never being able to forget, for one second, that my guys struggle more, feel emotions deeper, and often react stronger. Even if they have thirty consecutive great days in April, I'm still reminded daily that their enjoyment and quality of life depends on others' awareness and acceptance of their neurological differences.
So yeah, for me, April kinda sucks. I'm 100% percent behind #autismacceptance, I just wish more people were on the band wagon twelve months a year.