Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm on a mission

I read, and read, and then read some more. Every day I try to find at least one new piece of information in relation to autism spectrum disorders. I have a blog about Puppy’s behaviors. I read and comment on other blogs as well. I have facebook links of various pages about autism and Asperger’s syndrome websites, and I also have my imaginary friends on twitter who support autism awareness and acceptance.

Does anyone know the best way to get someone else to listen? I feel as though I’m talking to the wall whenever I speak to a particular person, who will remain nameless. I’ve told this person that Puppy has autism. I’ve given him the definition of autism and PDD-NOS. I’ve given him examples of the things Puppy can and cannot do. I’ve given more examples of actual events that have taken place in Puppy’s daily routines. And still, nothing, nada, zilch, zero understanding, feedback or questions.

What kind of response do I get from him? He answers back with comments like: “He’ll catch up soon”, “He’s just going through a phase”, “He’s just selfish and seeking attention”, “and he needs to stop being lazy in school,” or “You need to be firmer with his discipline.”

I have to say that it finally hit me this year. Personally, even though I’ve always known exactly what is going on with Puppy on a daily basis and how difficult it is for him to function every day; it hit me like a slap in the face -- the importance of making more people aware of autism spectrum disorders. It’s my responsibility to assist others to recognize and understand ASD, and generally educate others of acceptance. I secretly knew this; I just rarely practiced it outside my own home.

I used to be so self-involved with my son and his well-being that I typically closed myself to the world outside that didn’t accept my son. I learned to shelter him, keep him safe at home, and run away from those I thought might hurt him or me for that matter.

Autism understanding and acceptance is a mission. For Puppy, I'm on a mission.