Monday, April 2, 2012

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.

In anticipation of this event, last week my husband and I were able to give a presentation about autism at Dixie College as part of their Disability Awareness Week. 

It felt great to share our story -  as well as information and statistics about autism spectrum disorders.  The audience was comprised of students, faculty members, and a few personal friends, with the group's smaller size encouraging a discussion-type atmosphere.  Also in attendance was a family with four sons, each of whom have a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.  Of course, I quickly felt a connection with the parents, a feeling which seemed reciprocated as I noticed them nodding at each other in agreement with my statements several times during the presentation.  In speaking with them afterwards, I learned that their oldest, whom is more severely affected by AS than his brothers, will graduate with a bachelor's degree from Dixie College next spring.  What an accomplishment!  It just proves that with encouragement, support, patience, and understanding, these individuals can accomplish great things :)

As part of spreading awareness, I've decided to step up my blog efforts and publish at least 15 entries this month.  These might address facts or statistics, express my opinions, or simply just illustrate the daily life of our family.  Please check back often...and please, feel free to share this site with others - especially those whose lives are affected by this diagnosis.  This can often be a difficult and lonely road to travel; knowing others who are experiencing the same issues can help make it seem a little easier.

1 comment:

Diane said...


Again, thank you for the wonderful presentation. It was really nice for our sons to laugh (which you only do when you understand body and soul) and feel understood. Our *second* son :-) will graduate next spring, as mentioned and we are so grateful. When he was 3-5 years old people kept saying it wasn't possible for us to expect much from him. So we just loved him as-is. I believe that is the key to sanity...just love your child the way they are and it's amazing the paths they take in life. I think there will be a lot of tears when we send announcements off in April of 2013 sharing with former doctors, friends and family the joy of his accomplishment. It's something we never, ever dreamed of from a child who couldn't walk until nearly 2 and talk until 5. He also has cerebral palsy (mild) to complicate matters. Of course none of this would be possible without a good disability resource department at Dixie State College! They were willing to see with a few helps, we could unlock a pretty amazing mind!


Your best slide in the presentation for me, as a mother, was the side by side comparison of your 2 children with ASD. It went to show that although same condition, totally different presentations. This is life with ASD!!! It becomes more of a realization that each child needs what they need. They have strengths and weaknesses unique to themselves...just like everyone else...they just happen to have ASD to make things...extraordinary!

We loved the presentation and are grateful for your and Del's (Dean Beatty for our sons) commitment to this condition. No doubt I will be telling my friends about your great blog.


PS--We love the macaroni and cheese story. Classic!