Autism Awareness Month
The word Autism has been coming up more and more in our society for about 30 years now, but what is it exactly?
It wasn’t until 2011 that I began to learn what Autism was and how it was about to change my life dramatically. My baby boy, RJ, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2013 when he turned five years old. When he was diagnosed, I had already prepared myself, at least I thought. Honestly, there wasn’t anything that could have prepared me for such an emotional journey. By the time RJ turned one years old, we noticed Rj’s speech and motor skills weren’t developing like they should have been. He wasn’t able to speak until he was almost two years old, which delayed not only his speech but language.
When RJ began preschool, we immediately connected with the special school district in our neighborhood so he could receive additional learning services, such as an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for social/emotional development, speech and language, and fine motor development. Since then, RJ has thrived and excelled in every area of reading, language, math, etc. You could understand 50% of his verbiage by the time he was five years old and now you can’t get him to be quiet. He struggled for a while, but my baby boy is so smart. He has and continues to overcome every obstacle in his way.
Ok, I’m going to brag a little bit. My RJ is a master builder at legos. I have seen this kid build a 250 piece complex Dinosaur lego set in less than 2 hours. It takes me that long to read the instructions. 😉 He loves history. He can tell you most of the important facts about the Titanic; specs of the ship, size, number of survivors, date it sank, date it was built, etc. It’s truly impressive to hear him speak about all of the interesting details of historical moments way before his time. He is a wonderful, patient big and little brother. He has more patience than anyone I know. It takes him a lot to get frustrated or to even cry. He is an amazing helper and loves, loves, loves Godzilla. He is truly an amazing kid. ❤️
That being said I would like to dedicate the month of April to my Rj. Although he “dances to a different beat”, he is one of the best dancers I know (I have hours of video to prove it). And I cannot wait to see what God has in store for our little wonder.
So for the next few posts, I want to talk about how to understand Autism and how we can help our loved ones who see the world in a brighter way. Since I like to go on and on (blah, blah, blah), I thought maybe breaking it up into multiple posts would give you guys shorter post to read (🚨blogging advice alert🚨).
Anyway, thanks for reading my thoughts and allowing me to introduce you to one of the loves of my life. I hope we are all able to learn new information from each other throughout this journey.
Please feel free to drop a comment below to share an experience or relationship you have with someone who is Autistic. Or maybe you have a question about Autism that you would like for me to answer in my future post.
Please read Rj’s First Fist Fight…And Im A Little Proud! to learn more about RJ and our response to his first fight. It’ll surprise you!
Love you all and stay blessed!
“Everyone has a mountain to climb and autism has not been my mountain, it has been my opportunity for victory.” –Rachel Barcellona
Autism images borrowed from google pics