Monday, April 29, 2013

Autism Awareness featured on the CW 33's Nightcap News

My friend Amanda Fitzpatrick approached me about doing a story to wrap up autism awareness month.  She put this amazing piece together and I appreciate her so much for doing this.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our mayor is the best!

Last week we attended the Frisco City Council meeting where our mayor, Maher Maso, read a proclamation recognizing World Autism Awareness Day.  The mayor asked Will if he wanted to say anything.  Will grabbed the mic, thought for a minute, then said, "Baby car."  He's a little obsessed these days with the Toyota Prius.


I recently found out that Frisco ISD has almost 700 students enrolled that are on the autism spectrum.  I knew it would be a lot considering the number of young families in Frisco - but I didn't expect the number to be so high.  Will's teacher did the math - that actually puts the number at 1 in 86/87 on the autism spectrum.  The national average is 1 in 88.

We were so grateful that some of Will's teachers came out to support last Monday - they truly care about Will.  And thank you to the mayor and city council for their continued support!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Autism Awareness Month - day 10

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle..."


Friday, April 5, 2013

I am 1 in 50

Last month I came across an essay contest Parenting magazine was holding to promote autism awareness.  In 250 words or less, I had to describe what autism means in our family.  I learned this evening that my essay was selected and featured in the top 50 on www.parenting.com from over 400 entries.  Kudos to Parenting mag for sharing our stories and promoting autism awareness!

Here's the link to the feature:

http://www.parenting.com/autism

And here's the link to my essay:

http://www.parenting.com/article/hopes-and-dreams-revised-not-rejected


VICTORY!!!!

Will participated in the Special Olympics today - he took gold in the ball throw and came in third in the 50m dash.  So proud of him!




Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Ten Commandments (with a dash of Throwback Thursday)

I saw this yesterday on Facebook and thought it would be great to share here...

TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR INTERACTING WITH KIDS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM

1. Thou shall not yell when speaking to me.
My Autism does not impair my hearing and I am extremely bright. Perhaps even brighter than you are.

2. Thou shall not ignore me, talk negatively about me, speak unnaturally slow, or ask questions to others in the room that pertain to me.
I can comprehend what you are saying just fine.

3. Thou shall believe in me and help me believe in my skills and self worth.
Note the good in me and do not merely point out my negative behaviors. Believe in me and I will believe in myself.

4. Thou shall not perceive me as dumb.
I am extremely intelligent. I do not learn in the same way as you, and maybe not as quickly as you expect me to. Have patience with me. Once I recall information, I never forget.

5. Thou shall not judge my behavior.
I can get overstimulated in certain environments. I may be hypersensitive to sound and loud noises may hurt my ears. Fluorescent lights are distracting for me. They have a humming noise, and can pulsate. All the noises in a room can blur together. Please make accommodations to help me.

6. Thou shall not be so quick to scold me.
Do not tell me that “I know what I did”. I do not. Tell me what my infraction was in a simple, concise manner. I want to please you, but I have difficulties inferring meaning within a vague statement. For instance, do not say please clean up your bedroom. Tell me exactly what you want, such as ‘Please make your bed and pick up your toys”.

7. Thou shall not compare me to others.
Please remind me, and note the talents that I possess. This increases my confidence and positive self worth. Learning disabled or not, we ALL have talents to contribute within society. I need you to help me realize what mine is. Believe in me and I will believe in myself.

8. Thou shall not exclude me from activities.
Please do not mimic me, ignore me, or bully me. Please invite me to play with you. It hurts my feelings when I am excluded. I like to run and jump in the playground, and be invited to birthday parties too. Grown ups can help me make friends by encouraging other children to play with me. I can be a loyal friend if you get to know me.

9. Thou shall give me choices.
I do not like being ordered about any more than the other children. Give me choices so I know you value my capabilities and opinions. Make them simple and concise. Present two options or so. I get confused when too many questions or directions are given at one time due to my processing speed. For instance, ask me if I would like to wear my blue sweater or green one, rather than asking which sweater I would like to wear.

10. Thou shall not judge me by my diagnosis, but by my character.
I am an individual, just like other children. ♥



Today's Throwback Thursday pic - one of my favorites of ALL TIME!  Will was probably 3 in this picture - he was playing in the weight room at the Bills' training facility.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It's World Autism Awareness Day!!!

The awesome folks at D: The Broadcast invited me on the show to talk about autism today.  I chatted with my friends Pat Smith and Courtney Kerr about autism and what people need to know.  Check out the video!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fixing Will

Our tribute to parents out there fighting the good fight against autism...

The United States of Autism


Last night I had the pleasure of screening an amazing film entitled "The United States of Autism."  The documentary is exceptional - the filmmaker is able to capture the essence of autism by interviewing families across the country.  I laughed and I cried listening to the stories told by these families.  Autism is a spectrum disorder, and this film really shows how diverse and different autism is for all who are dealing with it.  It's definitely worth checking out.  Screenings are being held all over the country - check the website here to find one near you (or you can consider holding a screening - there is information on the website).

Trailer

1 in 88

Did you know autism affects 1 in 88 children?  That number is even higher for boys - our sons are being diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 54.  A recent CDC survey suggests that the rate of autism is higher, affecting 1 in 50 children.

April is Autism Awareness Month - or as one of my friends put it on Facebook...


I'll be sharing stories, resources, tips, etc. throughout the month so please check back often.  Tomorrow I'll be joining the ladies of D the Broadcast to discuss autism awareness and Autism Speaks' Light It Up Blue campaign.  So set your DVRs or tune in!