Today I had the opportunity to speak with a radio personality on a talk show that will air later this week. While we spoke and covered a number of autism topics, one rang out and made me stop and think. I continued to think. Through the day. I realized it was important instead of just thinking, that I share my personal perspective with my followers so those who have questions don't fear asking.
The question the host posed surrounded the correct terminology for a child with autism. She kindly asked if I preferred child with autism or autistic child. Lately that topic has popped up on Autism pages and personal pages alike. As I shared with the host, sometimes I feel being politically correct stops us from asking questions and knowledge is power.
Today, children are being diagnosed with autism at an alarming rate. I am rocked to my core reading 1:34 children in the state of New Jersey alone are being diagnosed on the spectrum. While that spectrum is vast, still, autism impacts facets of the life of the individual that change them. Forever. It impacts those who love them, live with them, raise them and share a childhood with them. Forever.
My personal opinion is that my daughter has autism. Certainly she has more to her than just the disability but she also is impacted daily. In fact daily is a broad term. We wake listening, waiting, trying to assess what our day will be based on how she wakes in her bed and even then, the early moments may not be a clear picture of the entire day. Autism impacts everything from her physical development to her emotional growth. It stops us all in our tracks when she is overwhelmed by situations in her environment and has impacted her ability to learn, live and share life with her siblings as we once knew it.
I believe that we have been given this journey to share. Our journey. Its nothing like the journey of any other child or adult on the spectrum, but perhaps a window into what a child may experience in one part of their life.
So for me, if you have questions, I'll throw being politically correct out the window so that I can share the journey we are walking. I'll listen to you say child with autism or autistic child and know that most often we are looking to answer these questions so that we have knowledge and in learning we have less to fear and in fearing less we can be a better version or our self.
I can't speak for anyone outside our family but for me, forget PC, ask. Anytime. Anywhere. Any way. We want you to learn about our struggles with hopes that it will help others to be more understanding, compassionate and sympathetic.
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