Welcome to April! A very important month to people, the sun is coming out, Spring is officially here, Spring break, Easter; so much to celebrate. I love April for all of those reasons too. April is also the company’s birthday, and this year we turn 40. So we are pretty excited! But April is especially important to me because it is Autism Awareness month.
My heart has been touched by autism, and I know many people who live with autism or love someone with it. For me, it is very real, and I’m incredibly aware of autism, what it looks like and feels like. I believe that has been a blessing and has made me a better person. (Not a perfect person.) Not a better person than someone who doesn’t love someone with autism, but better than I was before. Stronger. More grateful. More optimistic. It wasn’t always that way, and it hasn’t been easy. Autism awareness month is incredibly important to me because the Autism community doesn’t get a lot of positive recognition. I think people are still afraid of autism, or just confused by it. Which is fine, so am I. But what I do know, is that autism is not a disease, it is not a death sentence, and with research and AWARENESS we are constantly learning and doing better to improve treatment and therapy. My child learns different than most, is super picky, and struggles in situations that others may not. My child is one of the happiest kids I know, is creative and very smart, and loves wholeheartedly. With the right tools, we are able to see more of the positive traits and less of the struggles. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. We all deserve to be accepted for who we are, and to be loved enough to get any help we need, in any situation. People with autism are no different.
I also advocate for Autism Awareness month in an effort to raise awareness to new parents. The best care you can give your child is to advocate for them. Research shows that parents of children with ASD typically notice behaviors before their first birthday. But the average age of diagnosis is around 4. The importance of the early years for treatment and therapy is life changing. It’s not about curing your child, but giving them the tools they need, as soon as possible, it’s about support. I advocate for early diagnosis and I advocate for acceptance. To me, they revolve around each other. We can’t help something, if we can’t accept it first, it starts at home and then it is our job to help educate the rest of the world.
In my profession, I get to meet some amazing people- inspiring, brilliant, incredible people. I’m so grateful to get the frequent doses of motivation. But nothing motivates me more than my children, both of them. I wouldn’t change them for the world, but I will try to change the world for them, every day.
April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day and you’re encouraged to wear blue in support of the Autism Community. When I see someone rocking their blue, it makes my heart happy to know that someone is on our team. Maybe a quiet ambassador, maybe a warrior fighting at home. I see you! Please wear blue on April 2nd, get the conversation going and show your love and support for the autism community. For you, it may be a simple wardrobe choice, but for people like me, it means the world. #kindnessiscontagious #RIPPLEeffect #bekind #chooselove
As part of our ongoing efforts to support GOOD and meaningful causes, this month a portion of our net proceeds will support Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. For more information visit their website.