April is Autism Awareness Month, and today (April 2) is World Autism Awareness Day.
And I ended the day at Florida’s Old Capitol, waiting for the sun to go down so the blue lighting could convey its message. As I waited with families, some affiliated with Parents In Action, who have children on the autism spectrum, I heard about Asperger’s, service dogs for children with wandering issues, 13 year olds who still have meltdowns and who are difficult to restrain because of their size, teachers who take the time to pore over children’s records in order to best educate them, and disabled vets who take on new roles as learning assistants for children with autism. I had barely scratched the surface before we had to part ways. In the midst of all those details, I heard love, the kind that every parent has for their child, the kind loaded with hopes, fears, and prayers. And as always I found families willing to educate me about their journeys with autism. As people come to work tomorrow morning in Tallahassee, I am happy they will see our Old Capitol all dressed up in blue. And I hope awareness and acceptance will have gained just a tiny bit more purchase on the stretched-thin agendas and hearts of our civic leaders and fellow Tallahasseeans.
(I also really encourage you to read Diary Of A Mom’s post about today’s significance.)