April is Autism Awareness Month, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. April 11th is Parkinson Disease Day.
Alright I am adding in the last part, mostly because my Husband, age 37, is going in on Monday to be tested for Parkinson's.
I have two major issues with this:
1. I watched a very young and good man die of this when I was younger, so I do know what comes with this diagnosis.
2. My husband does have many of the symptoms and even many of the early signs, that go undetected, and have been prevalent for years.
Back to Autism Awareness (the other I really can't deal with right now) like many people, I have at least one family member that has Autism and my best friends two children have been added to the spectrum. Her son is still undergoing testing, but there is no doubt in our minds!
I have said this before, but it bears repeating. The best thing you can do for people that are caring for someone with special needs is to be there.
It can be to just listen, to sit with someone while they run to the store or to offer a kind word and a smile.
If you have family or a close friend - read up on what they are going through, ask questions and then most importantly, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!!!
Please don't think babysitting for them, bringing them food, flowers or toys, or anything else will actually be of help unless you have already TALKED to them! Each family is different in their wants and needs.
Most of the time special needs families need TIME more than anything else.
They need playmates for their children, with parents willing to help the play be good for both sides.
They need someone to listen to them and allow them to vent whatever frustrations or annoyances are happening in their lives.
They may need help in raising funds for walks (hint hint).
They may need help with passing certain legislation.
They may also need a girls or boys night out.
What they don't need:
To be told what they are going through isn't real.
Unwanted criticism or unfeeling advice.
To be told that they are bad parents and that their children are just spoiled.
To be told that THIS is THEIR fault!
--- Yes! To any of you thinking it, my BFF has been told all of the above - more often then you might think!
Also if they seem to not care that much because you got a flat tire or had a really really bad hair day don't take it personal. They are dealing with something that completely takes over their lives and makes other things seem small and trivial. Please understand they would trade ANYTHING! for your problems to be the biggest thing in their lives.
Next up, in support of my best friend and her family, I am walking for Autism this year in October. We have already started our donation page and you can donate to it at anytime! Do not worry if you go to donate the money comes out now, so you don't have to worry about a surprise deduction several months from now.
My Team "Spectrum Soldiers" donation page link.
Also never fear I will walk, even though this is the same day I will also be throwing my daughters 8th birthday party.
Somethings are important and need to be taught to the next generation. Also this not only for my BFF, but our children are best friends with her children and will want to support them!
To learn more about Autism please visit my BFF's page called Speaking on the Spectrum. A very useful site where you can find all the information. News links, Articles, Science, Medical, Inspirational, Personal Stories, anything Autism related and you can find it here!
Yes, I know I speak strongly about this. I love many people that are affected by this and wish to raise awareness not just to the word Autism, but to the people. I don't just want to help in finding a cure, but for finding compassion for those affected.
For my son's best friend, for someone he sees as normal.