SEARCH: Being Understood, Autism Awareness

In the Spring Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
we talk about Autism Awareness.
by Ashley Vrublevskiy

austApril is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. Even though we’ve had six years under our belts with our son Zander who has autism, I still don’t always feel confident or knowledgeable enough to properly explain what autism awareness or acceptance really is. I suppose it’s because every stage of this journey presents new challenges and new victories that can vary so widely for every individual child and family. That is what makes autism a spectrum. All I can do is speak from our personal experiences and shine a light on just one version of what autism means. My hope is it will help remind people to stop and take a second look into a person’s situation and try to understand before making judgements. All we want is to be understood, which is what acceptance means to us.

Parents of children with autism are presented with a unique situation. Often our children don’t have any outward appearances to clue people into the fact that they have special needs. Until you take a moment to really watch and observe would you see there may be certain quirks or mannerisms hinting at autism. The problem is, we are all busy. We all have our own agendas, needs, time-sensitivities, etc. That’s okay, but unfortunately, those preoccupations can often mean our children with autism come off as rude or seemingly undisciplined to uneducated or distracted people. Autistic children may have difficulty conforming to the ‘typically’ accepted behaviors of their peers, especially in new or busy places. These behaviors can be misleading to people who don’t know what autism is or how it can be manifested in a child. Ideally, we can choose to put aside our preconceived beliefs of how a child ‘should’ behave or ‘should’ speak/respond, and remember, we are all different and deserve to be accepted for who we are….” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.

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