This weekend one of our Kolcraft parents will be participating in the Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks with his son, Alex. It isn’t Autism Awareness Day, week or even month, but it got us thinking about how for parents with autistic children like Alex and his dad it’s Autism Awareness Day every day.
It can be a touchy subject for society but Autism is something that affects around 1 in 88 American children. And as any parent knows, what affects a child extends to all of their loved ones and friends. We need to spread awareness “because they’re human” Alex’s dad said, “each state needs to be aware to provide proper funding.”
One way Alex’s family has been spreading the word about Autism around Illinois is by joining Autism Speaks for their annual 5k walk at Soldier Field. In the past they’ve been joined by celebrities, athletes, and many others, with Autism and without, for a fun day in the city.
“Awareness is growing by leaps and bounds,” said Alex’s dad.
And it’s true; Autism awareness has spread and people are informed and accepting. However, there are many people who do not know how to react to parents that are raising autistic children. One mom from Scary Mommy talks about what those parents really want to hear. Her bottom-line: no parent is perfect, whether they are raising a child with disabilities or not; asks questions, embrace the differences and don’t patronize anyone. “There is nothing you can say if you are well-meaning that could ever be worse than saying nothing at all” she says.
There are ways to spread awareness of disabilities like Autism across the country. Check out Autism Speaks to see what you can do to get involved.