You see this smile? It's a ray of sunshine and its the smile of my 13 year old son, Ed, who has been diagnosed with Autism.
For those of you unfamiliar with Autism, or autism spectrum disorder here's what it is in a nutshell:
Autism or Autism Spectrum disorder refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.
There are so many different things that come with parenting a child with autism. The stares. The questions. The people who avoid interaction with your child or gawk at him from a distance. The people who act like he has some sort of contagious disease that if their child played with them, then they'd catch it too. The people who look at you, like something must be wrong with you for you to have had a child like that. The fears. Someone taking advantage of your child, abusing him, or misunderstanding him, because he hasn't mastered appropriate societal physical boundaries.
These are real issues that I face every day and I'm not the only one. There are millions of children and families affect by autism.
At the end of the day, I want people to know that any person who has autism or seems different from the "norm," is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. How do we do this? By sharing our experiences with autism to bring about awareness.
Hence, the Super Hero Cape & Tutu 5K Walk for Autism was born!
To celebrate & honor, those affected by autism!