Wednesday, April 2, 2008

National Autism Day

Today is National Autism Day.  I know that with all of the controversy surrounding vaccines, as well as the frighteningly high statistic that 1 in every 150 children is diagnosed with autism, this is a condition that every parent today worries about.

I remember thinking before Pumpkin's birth that autism would be one of the worst diagnoses we could be faced with; images of Rain Main was my point of reference for autism along with an article I had read about a family who sent their autistic son to live with another woman when they could no longer deal with the disruption to their family life as well as the dangerous situations in which he placed himself and others.

Luckily, now I think that most people realize that there is an entire spectrum of disorders that make up autism and that early intervention can help many of these children lead very normal and fulfilling lives.  I have a friend who has custody of a teenage brother with Asperger's Syndrome.  Although his conversational style is not what you would normally encounter, he is an engaging and personable young man with a love of football.

Luckily, Pumpkin seems to be right on schedule with his developmental milestones but I realize that if that ever changes, he would still be our loving, sweet boy and that we would tackle autism or any other condition head-on and optimistically as a family.  Today, let us all give our support and appreciation to the many families who are dealing with autism and the wonderful children who are learning to live in a different world than many of us experience.

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