April is Autism Awareness month.
When I mentioned it earlier in the month while proudly wearing my "Autism Moms Rock" t-shirt, to my older children, their response was.
"Mom...I think we are aware."
And so they are.
In our house awareness came long before diagnosis.
- I've never been able to appropriately write about my feelings when we were given the diagnosis-they are mixed and complicated and challenging to articulate.
- Post diagnosis has brought about frequent recollections, memories, wondering and what ifs that bring about conversations with grown children about 'how things were'. I often am overwhelmed with thoughts of did I do enough for any one of the 4 children I have(am) raised (raising). The ease at which the needs of one over ride the needs of others can thwart even the best intentions.
- Autism is present in our household, has been present long before the words-"your child is on the Autism Spectrum" were spoken. Lots of other things have been present as well and I have worked to make sure all children were recognized and given space to be a kid without the sometimes overwhelming presence of Autism.
Sometimes I failed. Sometimes I was successful.
I thank my children for forgiving me when I've failed and celebrating with me when I was successful.
Parenting isn't easy. In our house-Autism isn't easy.
To my children, family, friends who have supported us along the way and learned AWARENESS, mostly hands on-thank you. Support is felt in words, actions, understanding and even advocacy.
For us, having Autism awareness isn't always easy or always challenging, or Monday's or April or special or not special-it just always is!