Our grandson, Jacob, was diagnosed with mild to moderate Autism a few years ago. Since then his mother and our daughter, Kristian has become an inspiring momavist (mommy activist) to support the cause and raise Autism awareness around the country.
Take a look at her touching story:
In November 2007, I became a mother to the most beautiful little boy. I named him Jacob, because I knew he was heaven sent; but never would I have thought he would change my life the way he has. At 18 months-old Jacob’s pediatrician detected signs of autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Since then, Jacob has received speech and occupational therapy and is currently receiving applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy full time. While the last 4 ½ years have been challenging, he has made tremendous progress. I truly believe his success is due to early intervention. Realizing and accepting that something is not quite right with your child is a hard pill to swallow. But I always remind parents that as much as it hurts us to see our children struggle, we must remember it’s not happening to us. It’s happening to our kids.
As parents, we are our kids’ strongest advocate. And therapy does not hurt, it helps. There are lots of resources – regardless of income – that are available now. And there are an army of advocates fighting everyday to ensure every person is given a chance to progress as much as they can.
One of my autism mentors once told me “if you see a person with autism, you’ve seen one person with autism.” She meant that autism affects each person differently, hence the “spectrum.” As a community, the best thing we can do is be supportive. It’s hard for people with autism to communicate and make friends. Be kind and don’t be so quick to judge. Romans 14:13 says, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” Autism looks just like you. It looks just like me.
For more information on autism you can log on to autismspeaks.org. To support our movement, and our foundation Jacob’s Ladder you can log on to walknowforautismspeaks.org/Indianapolis and join team Jacob’s Ladder or submit a donation.
Autism Speaks…are you listening?