I’m going to step away from my normal topics and talk a moment about Autism. This month is Autism awareness month and I just want to say that I know quite a few people on the Autism Spectrum. As an elementary school teacher I taught several students who had varying degrees of Autism and it does come with its own set of unique challenges, but each student taught me a different lesson. Children with Autism tend to have sensitivity to light and sound so loud classrooms can cause them distress and then in turn they may not be able to express this distress appropriately.

If you have ever been to a loud party with strobe lights and it’s given you a headache think of that experience happening when you were in a classroom, or the grocery store, or a restaurant.  Often these students would lash out because they were over stimulated because it got too noisy or the light started to bother them, but they couldn’t always express what was wrong. As the adult in the situation we had to look for signs. We had to try and predict, but sometimes you can’t predict.

Autism is unpredictable and I applaud all caregivers. They have beautiful awesome children. Yes they have children who melt down. They have children who may not speak. They have children who may scream when they get excited, but they have awesome, beautiful children. I think too often we (as society in general) can’t see the awesome, beautiful child, we see the Autism.

I have been so blessed to have several children with Autism in my life and their families. I enjoy getting to know them. I enjoy getting to celebrate their achievements and successes. There are so many wonderful beautiful children out there and I can’t wait to continue to celebrate more successes. Nothing makes me happier than a cheesy grin from a child who just succeeded.

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