Critical Notions About Autism


What I Learned About Autism

What I Learned About Autism

What have I learned about Autism? I question myself daily. I open my mind and absorb everything. I can throw out statistics, but who are they? I can quote the CDC, the FDA, and the pros and cons of this or that, but what have I truly learned? What I’ve learned about autism is to follow my heart.

My son is 3 1/2… in our world even if he were diagnosed at birth (which is impossible) he would still be considered “newly diagnosed”. I would still be considered “a new mom.” His diagnosis was actually around 2yrs.

So, a year and a half later, what have I learned?

I’ve learned that a child throwing a fit in public may have underlying issues.

I’ve learned to be a better parent.

I’ve learned to keep an open mind. I’ve learned that regardless of the situation the tacky yet true statement “opinions are like assholes, everyone has them” is still relevant. I’ve learned to say what I feel and then STFU. Sometimes, if we shut up, we may learn something.

I’ve learned to be less judgemental.

I’ve learned not to be too hard on ignorant people. They are just a product of our failed educational system.

I’ve learned that Autistic Children are resilient.

I’ve learned not to blog about things I’m still figuring out, not to lash out at people and organizations that don’t believe in the things I do, and not to judge another person’s experience. If I have something profound to say, I should say it only if I’ve experienced it personally.

I’ve learned that I am the I in IEP.

I’ve learned that the blogging community can be full of cliques. I’ve learned that I will remain true to myself and not participate in blogs where the blogger encourages that behavior.

I’ve learned that even though I am not a huge fan of certain non-profits, such as Autism Speaks, I can still empower my community by attending walks and events. By opening my mind and attending said events, I can make connections with my local Autism Community. I’ve learned that by doing all of this, maybe, just maybe, Autism Speaks has served the purpose I need to further my activism in my own Community. I’ve learned to hold my judgment, participate, and then navigate.

I’ve learned that the government is sitting back laughing and is the absolute puppet master of The infighting within the Autism Community.

I’ve learned to state my opinion and then move on. I’ve learned to allow others to have their own opinions, no matter how aggressive and demeaning they may seem.

I’ve learned if I truly want to be here for my son I had to change my lifestyle and exercise daily.

I’ve learned that my typical kids deserve just as much time as my Special Needs Son.

I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely.

I’ve learned that just because you are a big star with a big name does not mean that you care about the little people whom Autism has engulfed financially, physically, & emotionally. I’ve learned not to lash out at you for your ignorance. I’ve learned what you’re about and stored that in my memory bank. Because one day I will be a 501(c) and you will hear about my non-profit. And I will thank you for teaching me how a non-profit should be run and who a non-profit should REALLY HELP.

I’ve learned that for some people, GFCF is their family’s way of life, and for me, GFCF means Get Food Cheap and Fast.

I’ve learned that although our family doesn’t “do the diet, ” I can still collect recipes and point families in the right direction.

I’ve learned that we can all get along and respect each other. I’ve learned that $5.00 to donate to shut it down for a day for Communication Shutdown doesn’t mean we are telling people the rest of the 364 days of the year we won’t advocate daily for our kids. I’ve learned that if you don’t want to shut down, its okay to have alternatives. I’ve learned we can agree to disagree and not disrespect each other.

I’ve learned that sometimes he is just being 3 1/2 and needs to be treated that way.

I’ve learned that my loyal blogging friends, Non-Special Needs Bloggers, do “get it” and care about our children.

I’ve learned that nobody but me can change my community services for our children. I learned that if you want real change, step up and do it. Stop complaining that they have “nothing” for Autism here. Yes, in some Rural areas and dirt road towns its a lot harder. But I’ve learned you must make a difference and not rely on others. I google Autism Events daily. I love the Autism Calendar… and Google is my Bitch.

I’ve learned that you can turn a non-autism event into an Autism Event. I just taught a CPR class and invited Autism moms. I also met with the Fire Department and opened the conversation about Autism. Could that have possibly saved one non-verbal child’s life in a fire? I want to think so.

I’ve learned that if I genuinely want to learn something about Autism to take most things with a grain of salt and to listen to Mothers who have struggled with No services. They have been labeled as the problem and lived with absolutely no awareness. THEY ARE OUR TRUE SOLDIERS… parents like Brandon’s Mom-Amalia Starr, Aspergers2Mom-Elise, Eustacia Cutler (Temple Grandin’s Mother), and my very dear local mom of an Autistic pre-teen-Marisol Romeyn (who has taught me more than any book, blog, doctor, or manual).

I have learned that to spread Autism Awareness truly WE MUST GET RID OF THE INFIGHTING WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY.  I’ve learned that debating back and forth between each other only causes confusion… and most importantly, our message gets lost, and our children suffer.

What have you learned about autism?

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Angie's Diary