10 ways to celebrate autism awareness month

If you are the parent of a child with autism, you have no doubt been getting a lot of well meaning phone calls from family and friends today.

“Hi, turn on CNN quick! They’re doing story on autism.”

“Did you watch the Today Show today? There was a girl on with her mother. She was cured of autism. Here is what she did. Have you tried it yet?”

It’s enough to send ‘autism’ parents into a tailspin.

Here are 10 EMPOWERING THINGS that parents of children with autism can do to celebrate Autism Awareness Month and give it meaning.

1. Reach out to other parents, especially those with newly diagnosed children. Remember how you felt in the early days? Wouldn’t you have loved to know someone like you? GO HERE to find out how you can help.

2. Spend a day with your child with autism doing EXACTLY what they like to do. My son wants to go to two states that he has never been to. We are going to Spokane Washington next week and then driving over the border to Idaho and back. It’s going to be great.

3. Spend a day with your OTHER children in the same way. Hopefully they won’t want to go to two states.

4. Go for a walk with your spouse and talk about ANYTHING except the kids.

5. Write down three goals for your child with autism for the upcoming year. Raise the bar, and celebrate each success.

6. Find a mentor/helper for your child. Your local college is a great place to find psychology and special education students who are anxious to learn from our kids. 7. PLEDGE to make time for yourself each day. Caring for a child with autism takes tremendous patience, physical and mental energy.

8. Imagine how hard it must be to have autism. Show your child the admiration they deserve.

9. Be extra nice to your child’s teacher, speech therapist etc. Show them the gratitude that they deserve.

10, and this is a big one. 1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder. Don’t forget the other 99%! (That’s right, it’s not all about us.)

Laura — www.laurashumaker.com

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