Tomorrow, April 2, 2021 is the official day set aside to encourage more communication, to raise awareness, to strive to make the world a better place for those with autism and those that love and support them. I’ve also seen January and October as autism awareness months. Not sure which is correct but more is better, in my opinion.
Followers of this blog have been getting glimpses into our autism for over two years now. And you’ve responded in such kindness as you learned. Did you know that the first case documented by Johns Hopkins University was a 10 year old boy from Forest, Mississippi? It’s been most interesting for us through the years because Forest was home to Jacob’s great grandparents and his grandparents still call it home.
Don Triplett was institutionalized at 3 years old but a year later removed from the facility because his parents noted he was becoming more and more withdrawn. The year was 1943 when Dr. Leo Kanner used the term, autism, to diagnose a social and emotional disorder.
In the blog post: Autism Awareness, https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2019/04/04/autism-awareness/, I shared a hard story. I thought today, I’d share a happy one.
Last week while Jacob was at his Day Program, I got a text from the manager: I have to tell you, Jacob has been such a character today. He’s been in a good mood all day. Smiling and exploring and picking on us. He even ‘hugged’ me and G earlier today.
This text came about an hour before pick-up time. I was especially happy to hear it because he had gotten up at 5:30 that morning!! Yes. He. Did. So much for wanting to sleep later because of the time change. He was wide awake and ready to go 2 hours before our normal departure time. I felt sure that early wake-up would lead to grumpiness and/or a long nap!
Doesn’t this text make you happy, too? When I saw the word ‘character’. I thought, uh oh! I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. Obviously, I quickly discovered it was all good.
When we went to pick him up, this manager, was outside and proceeded to confirm Jacob’s great day. A staff member walked up that I hadn’t met. When I introduced myself, K said, I had heard about Jacob and couldn’t wait to meet him. He didn’t disappoint and has been so much fun. Then, J saw us and said, “Jacob has had the best day, he has done a funny dance I’ve never seen him do”. Then G (the recipient of a hug earlier), made a point to tell us what a fun day.
Autism is so many things. This chart is pretty accurate when it comes to how Jacob is affected by it.
But today, today is when autism made my heart smile. Without words, he communicated clearly with the staff and we could go home talking about the GREAT day!