Monday, April 02, 2012

World Autism Awareness Day

If you are keeping score, we don't know yet if Remy is autistic. Initial screening has the professionals concerned that he is - one even told me to prepare myself because, from everything she had seen, she believed he would be diagnosed with Autism - but nothing is certain until he goes through the diagnosis process. That is finally scheduled to begin on June 7th and ends on July 2nd. In my mind I have accepted that he is - but even if we were to find out that he is not, and all of this one day is a memory, I know that I will never look at kids with special  needs, and especially autism, the same way I did before. Before all of this, I was scared of the unknown that they represented, put off by what I perceived as a wall between me and them, unsettled by the seeming senselessness or unpredictability of behavior. Now I feel affection because in them I see Remy, I feel empathy because I have a sense now of the frustration and the isolation they can experience, and I feel proud of how hard they work day by day with a body or a mind that doesn't cooperate the way yours or mine does. This afternoon, when Remy wakes up from his nap, we will go out to the front stoop and screw in a special blue light bulb that will shine all night, a signal to the world that our hearts are with all the precious boys and girls, the men and women, who find themselves on the Autism Spectrum.

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