It’s Autism Awareness month. I’ve been planning to write about autism. The month is half over. I’ve written twice: once to say “I’m writing” and once to say “Here’s what I think I know.” The comments on those posts have taught more than the posts.
I have a list of related posts, germs of ideas, things I want to find out. But, it seems, other projects and responsibilities intrude. I can’t do the research that I would like to do be offer answers here, to have great insights.
I wanted, for example, to find out what it is like when autism is part of a family. What’s it like to be a mom, for example?
Katie Donahue Bevins answers those questions, writing as a poet.
I dragged Sean into the house, his voice screeching, saying over and over,
“I want a new Mommy!”
All I could think was, “Good luck with that. You’re stuck with the one you’ve got.”
Chantal Sicile-Kira answers those questions as an “author, speaker, autism expert:”
When he was little, it was very hard figuring out how to reach him, how to teach him basic skills. Nothing seemed to work for Jeremy as it did for other children with autism. I had to quit my work (in TV and film production) in order to teach him and to do physical therapy exercises with him every day.
To this day, although he has proven how smart he is, his motor skills and sensory processing challenges are such that he requires supports for many aspects of every day life. We are working on helping him become as independent as possible, by trying different therapies to work on motor skills and sensory processing.
I wanted to offer insight, that is, until I realized that awareness isn’t about being an expert, about having the most profound insights. Sometimes being aware is about stopping long enough to notice.
These moms are worth noticing.