Autism Awareness Everyday

Jodi Shenal's avatar

by Jodi Shenal

April signifies Autism Awareness Month.  When you’re a parent of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, you wish EVERY DAY could be Autism Awareness Day.  

There are countless roadblocks and obstacles that we traverse in our daily lives. 

However, we continuously persevere. 

We love our children steadfastly and find ourselves in protective mode regularly. 

Being that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with ASD, now more than ever, we are working hard to make the world more Autism Aware.

We’ve come a long way, but there is still much work to be done.

Education is a particularly nerve-racking area for us at times.  No matter if there is an IEP or 504 Accommodation plan in place, there are always stumbling blocks. 

There are always disappointments due to plan accommodations falling to the wayside. 

However, resourceful Autism parents now have access to advocates, who work with them to make the school system understand what their children need to be successful. 

These are oftentimes other Autism parents, who will help us have a voice. 

We also have access now to accredited online homeschool programs that provide the opportunity to learn from home, in a safe, comfortable environment. 

This hasn’t always been an option, but thankfully, in our experience, it now is a reality.   

Obtaining services to enhance the social experience can be another tricky area.  Services are often outrageously expensive and difficult to come by. 

As time goes by, we’re finding more ways to access these valuable services.  Insurance companies are finally beginning to cover the cost of ABA and other vital Social Therapies. 

The application processes can be drawn out and complicated, but slowly we’re seeing some progress. 

Online Behavioral Therapy sessions with licensed professionals are relatively new to us, but we’re grateful to now have this as a treatment option.

Our goal is not to change our children, or to make them “typical.”  What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. 

Dr. Seuss said it best with “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

Our mission is give them the tools and resources they need to soar; to meet their potential. 

We aim to help them find balance and have the happy life that they deserve.

We revel in their successes, big and small.  From willingly trying a new food to utilizing their coping skills, we celebrate their progress. 

Autism parents travel with their children, on an ongoing journey. 

We try to help them learn to make their own way, but we are always there standing firm behind them. 

As we strive tirelessly for more Autism Awareness, we will remain relentless in our fight.  

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