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Thursday, April 5, 2012

April is Autism Awareness Month






One in every 88 children will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. That may seem pretty rare, but consider the size of your child's grade in school. Count the number of children in your neighborhood. Think of how many moms your interact with. Does that change your perspective?

I recently spent some time talking with mothers of children with special needs, asking what message they want to share with the world. Overwhelmingly, the response I got most was "be kind." Stories were shared of disapproving looks, unsolicited advice and even confrontation by strangers in public. Some children with sensory integration issues were subject to bullying. Moms overheard others gossiping that they should control their child better. It was heartbreaking to hear how isolated they felt. These moms, who love their children dearly, are cut off from the friendship and support they need because their children have an ASD.

There were also uplifting stories of friends who made a point of being supportive; of one mom who went to facebook to help find a special, rare item that needed replacing, of strangers giving a pat on the shoulder, of another delighting in the quirky behavior of a little boy. These small gestures were treasured by moms who give so much. A little kindness really does go a long way.

In honor of Autism Awareness this April, consider how you can spread a little kindness this month. To learn more or to find resources, check out www.autismspeaks.org

Original post by Ashley E.
Ashley E. is a proud member of TriadMommies. This month she promises to assume the best and smile at strangers.

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