April is Autism Awareness month and today is World Autism Awareness Day, the day designated to raise awareness of the signs of autism and promote early diagnosis.
New studies say 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism, with 1 in 54 of them being boys. Those numbers are staggering and the best way to help these children is to get them services as soon as possible.
I regret every day that I ignored my gut when Lucas was a toddler, but I didn’t really know what autism was. I heard about it, but I didn’t really KNOW it. I don’t think anyone does unless it touches their life.
I joked that Lucas learned to play from watching the cats. He had this 20oz A&W Root Beer bottle that he would bat across the floor and crawl after, only to swat it again. I thought he was a genius because every morning he would go straight to his alphabet blocks and pick out the ‘C’ block. He carried that one block everywhere but that was because it had pictures of cars and cats on it and those were two of his favorite things. He didn’t talk because he didn’t have much to say, plus “So and So didn’t talk until they were 3 and now look at them.” He didn’t walk until he was seventeen months old because he wanted to make sure he did it right the first time. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.
Lucas is affectionate, outgoing, and funny. He is nothing like a stereotypical person with autism. He was 3 before he was diagnosed. We missed crucial time with therapy and that is something we can never get back but we are going to work our hardest to make up for it.
We wore blue today in honor of the “Light It Up Blue” campaign sponsored by Autism Speaks. Famous landmarks around the world including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, the Empire State Building in NYC, the Bell Tower in Perth, Australia, the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, the King Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and many more will shine a blue light to raise awareness and so will we.