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Monday, April 2, 2012

Autism Awareness.....My Life is so Blessed!

By Cathy
Today is Autism Awareness Day. It would have been just another day for me....just another "awareness day". However, my oldest son was diagnosed just a little over 8 years ago with Autism. He is now 15. I'm sure you can read many articles, posts, books, and stories about what autism is. You can pop in "autism" into a search engine and probably get 100 million or so hits. You can grab the latest statistic on the number of those who have autism (it is now 1 in 88). Sometimes, I feel like the world wants you to only think about statistics and challenges, when really, I love to share the other side as well......the uniqueness and absolute GIFT that I have come to believe autism can be about.
You should know that when I started writing for this wonderful blog, I did so to try to get away from autism. I found myself consumed with autism. Everything, every moment of the day, I was thinking about either helping my son today, or helping him in the future. That always led to worry and stress. I just wanted an outlet. So, I started helping review healthy and natural products, thinking that I could get a little of the old me back.
Turns out, I couldn't stop thinking about autism. That Gluten Free soup I was sent to taste? Well, I just had to think of the thousands and thousands of families who have to have their children on a gluten free diet to ease some of the symptoms of autism. That Organic Skincare? I wonder if the fantastic scent would act as aromatherapy to calm syptoms of autism.....What about using less toxic cleaners? Could that help autism? Oh boy.....I found myself right back where I started...thinking of autism.
What I really found out, is that thinking of autism is probably just what I do because I am meant to do it. Huh? This is where the gift comes in. I think back to pre-diagnosis days....I was just an ordinary mom, with three young boys, a young marriage, and a job. I thought constantly of home improvement, shopping, vacations and climbing the corporate ladder. I was still consumed by something.....and looking back now, it seems so selfish. I have to wonder, without the gift of being a mom to a child with autism, would I have ever grown out of being so selfish? With all of the challenges that autism can present, they are nothing compared to the challenges of living a self-absorbed life.
This is why I do what to celebrate this day with all of our readers. I want to celebrate that I feel so completely LUCKY to have autism in my life. I love that I now get the opportunity to look at everything differently, and see it from a different perspective. I love that parenting a child with autism gave me wisdom that I wouldn't have received in any other way. Autism not only makes my son the young man he is, it makes me the person I am. For that, I celebrate with joy!
Whether you have a child with autism, or know someone with autism (that should cover everyone) I wanted to wish you a happy day....a day I hope makes you aware that autism is awesome.


  1. Beautifully written from a beautiful woman! Thank you, Cathy, for blessing our lives with your wisdom and love!

  2. I think this is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it. I hope its OK but I plan to repost a link to it on my FB. You put into words many feelings that ring so true to me.

  3. Cassavaughs....I'd be honored if you reposted. You made my day so much brighter!


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