Friday, April 02, 2010

World Autism Awareness Day

There is a very special little boy in my life. He is sweet, brilliant and a joy to be around. And he has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), commonly known as Autism.

I have known this little boy since birth and he has taught me so much. I've learned to stop and watch the ants because they really are fascinating and I've learned how truly noisy a quiet house can be. I've also learned that no matter what we might label someone or how we might decide to categorize someone, the truth is that they were the same people before the label. The same wonderfully loving, charming people.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. I'm wearing blue to show my support for the Autistic community and one little boy in particular who is near and dear to my heart.

--Jessica

28 comments:

Being Beth said...

Thank you for writing this beautiful post. I think I'll wear blue today in honor of that sweet little boy in your life and to say thank you to all the "labeled" people I know who have taught me what life is all about.

Anonymous said...

I work with a young man labeled as Autistic. He is a gentle 'boy' with a great heart. He loves books. He has taught me that the world we read and the one we write, the world so busy with symbols and sound on the written page can best be spelled by one word, quiet.
As you, I am blessed to be 'charmed' by this young man.
To all the best on this special day.
nn

Donna Lea Simpson said...

Great reminder. I'll don blue!

Claire M. Caterer said...

I knew nothing about autism before meeting the special girl in my life. She has taught me the value of attention, of slowing down, of focus. She reminds me daily that everyone--not just autistics--sees the world a little bit differently. Reality is an experience unique to each human being, and sharing that experience enriches us all. We are not rubber stamps or carbon copies. I am a better person for knowing her. Thank you, Jessica, for reminding me of that.

Connie said...

I have a thirteen year old autistic son. And I know it sounds like a cliche, but I've learned more from him than he'll ever learn from me.

Nick said...

Jessica, thank you for this post. My oldest son, 10, is on the autistic spectrum. As challenging as he can be, he's the most wonderful thing in my life

MissV said...

My six year old son is autistic and what a journey it has been! I would never have chosen this for him, but now I wouldn't change him for the world. He is such a joy to be around, I'm honored to be his mama.

Anonymous said...

I have 5 kids. My youngest son was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of Autism, when he was 2 years old. Just a few weeks after I gave birth to my 4th child. Our oldest was born w/ Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy.

Thank you for sharing with us and for spreading the word.

HollyD

Anonymous said...

I've spent the last 35 years writing 5 books...in large part because I'm Autistic.

Thanks for the support!

Kim Lionetti said...

Thank you for this post.

That special little boy and I are so very fortunate to have your friendship and support. :)

Carolyn V. said...

I have a son with autism. He has been the most wonderful eye opener in my life. I love him. Thanks for the great post. =)

Steph Damore said...

Beautiful post, thank you.

M.J.B. said...

I've never commented on your blog before, but this post was too beautiful for me to sit back in the digital shadows and say nothing. Thank you so much for sharing. That little boy is quite lucky to have somebody like you in his life!

Maggie Dana said...

Am now going to change into a blue t-shirt and sit down to finish Jodi Picoult's latest novel, HOUSE RULES, about a boy with Asberger's. It's an amzing read.

Jason said...

I have an eight year old autistic son so I know exactly what you mean. Blessings to you today. :)

Christie Craig said...

Great post, Jessica!

Watching ants sounds like a great way to pass some time.

CC

Jane Steen said...

My oldest daughter is developmentally disabled and although not autistic, has many similar behaviors. Now 18, she has a steady boyfriend who is sweet, loving, tall, good-looking, bright, athletic, and on the high end of the autism spectrum. He's perfect for her.

I'm wearing blue today and thinking of him, the two little boys I buddied at church years ago, and all of the adults with autism I know through my daughter. And I'll think of your little guy too.

Robena Grant said...

Thank you for the reminder, and yes, I'll wear blue today. Huge blessings on your special little boy, and to all the parents on this blog who have children who are autistic.

Tee Iseminger said...

This is lovely, thank you! I'm the parent of a PDD child and we have navigated many of those lessons ourselves. Here's what autism looks like in our lives:

http://www.facebook.com/notes/tee-iseminger/what-autism-means-in-our-house/383689568769

Beth said...

Thank you. I'm the mother of a sweet five-year-old autistic boy. Autism defines our lives in so many ways, but it's not entirely bad (as I typed this, he's singing in the bathroom). It's a learning process for all of us. Some days we learn more than others.

Katelynn said...

I forgot to wear blue but I'm thinking about the two little boys who my fiance has been teaching recently and who have inspired him to consider getting his masters in Special Ed. :)

Stephanie said...

Very well said! :)

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

Thanks for this.

You reminded me I should take more time sitting quietly with my autistic boy. He's 21 now, and still our sunshine.

Jemi Fraser said...

Lovely. I didn't know, but I'm glad I wore blue coincidentally :)

_*rachel*_ said...

Sometimes it's the people who have to work the hardest who make the most difference in other people's lives. If people would look beyond a disability, they'd see how precious people really are.

If I'd have checked earlier, I'd have worn a blue shirt, too.

Aven said...

From myself, my 8 y/o Autistic son, and our family ... thank you for spreading the word. It's a truly eye-opening world to be a part of.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, what a beautiful post.

Alexis Fleming said...

Thank you for this post. It touched my heart. My seven year old grandson is on the autism disorder scale, one of his problems being PDD. I have learned so much from this beautiful child. He reduced me to tears when he said, "I'm not stupid, Nannie. I'm just different." How true. I've had them staying with me for the Easter holidays. First I fretted that I wasn't getting any writing done. Then I relaxed and have enjoyed my time with this wonderful child. Nannie is learning a lot.