Sunday, April 5, 2009

April is Autism Awareness Month

How has autism impacted our lives? Well Spencer would tell you in the form of his best friend Benjamin. Benjamin first entered our lives via his family in the waiting room as we celebrated Carter's successful 2nd surgery. He then continued to enter our world as his mom needed another heart mom to talk with about raising heart babies. Benjamin has continued to enter our lives through vacations, birthday parties and most recently he has left a Benjamin size whole as his family has moved farther away and the distance doesn't allow for random playdates any longer.
Here are Spencer and Benjamin in an obvious sugar high eating GF/CF candy!!!
Here are Spencer and Benjamin enjoying vacation at the beach!

Spencer would tell you that autism has entered our world via a special diet that sometimes is fun and yummy to sample and other times not so fun and yummy to sample as Spencer reaches over to Benjamins plate to try it out!

Spencer would tell you that autism has entered our world via some very interesting arm flappings and some very interesting repetitive noises that are fun to imitate back to Benjamin during there play time.

Spencer would also say that sometimes autism has made him feel crazy! Whether or not that is the truth or just that 4 years olds can be annoying sometimes is still up for debate!

Spencer would tell you that autism has entered our world in the form of "theraty" which he so gladly played right along.

Spencer would tell you that having a best friend with autism means some really great hugs and some fun boy time when there are no limitations on how rough and tough they can be.

Spencer's mom would tell you that autism has a definition but our buddy Benjammin cannot be defined. His limits are yet to be known...his restrictions we are finding out are not so restrictive....and his love...his will blow you away if you are blessed enough to catch it.

Benjamin this post is for you....know we celebrate you, not just this month but every month!

Below are some ways you can do something this month for the autism in your life....

Activities for April: Autism Awareness Month
Here are some tips on what you can do to spread the word during April - Autism Awareness month.
Participate in TACA’s Annual Family & Friends campaign. Contact Roxanne Hall for more information or start your own online fundraising and awareness page at

Contact your local library, church or community center to see if they will let you create an autism awareness display that can include information about autism, local support groups, books, etc. Reference autism facts.

Reach out to your local video store and see if they will create a movie display featuring movies like Rainman, Molly, etc. While Hollywood may not always get autism right, this is a great way to begin getting people more aware.

Set up meetings to talk with your Parent Teacher Association, police department and fire

department. TACA can provide you with and educational presentation and handouts. Please contact Roxanne Hall for more information.

Educate pediatricians in your community about the early signs of autism. Early intervention and diagnosis is key to a positive outcome. Some wonderful tools are available at:
TACA’s poster project – please contact Susan
AutismNDI’s poster project
CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early campaign
First Signs

Write to your local and state legislators. Tell your personal story and describe the need for government support of scientific research, medical treatments and educational resources for this growing population of children. Request proclamations that designate April as Autism Awareness month. To find your local and state representatives, go to

Contact your local media. Neighborhood newspapers often feature human interest stories, so tell your story and share the facts about why autism is important to all of us.
Help children learn more about autism

Create a buddy program in your school where typical students befriend a child with autism. These groups could be during lunch, recess or after school social clubs.

If your child has a neurotypical sibling, visit their school in April and read a children’s book on autism to the class. Some suggestions include:
Andy and his Yellow Frisbee – by Mary Thompson
I love my brother!! By Connor Sullivan (A preschooler's view on an older ASD brother)
Ian’s Walk – by Laurie Lears
A non-autism book but for all disabilities is What's Wrong with Timmy? by Maria Shriver

Make Autism Awareness Ribbons. These ribbons are very simple to make. You can buy the puzzle pieces ribbon from a local Michaels or Joann’s, glue the ribbons and the pin backing. These can be passed out to family and friends to wear in the month of April or all the time.
Wear autism awareness merchandise, from t-shirts to pins to bracelets and bands. Show your support with car bumper stickers or magnets. Merchandise can be purchased from:
National Autism Association

Plan an event to raise both awareness and funds: an autism awareness night at a local restaurant, a lemonade stand or bake sale, dress-down days at work or schools… be creative! If you would like to raise funds for TACA – please contact Elizabeth Kilpatrick for suggestions, the ability to create a personalized web site and support.

Send TACA’s HOPE FAITH RECOVERY cards to family and friends about autism awareness month with the message that AUTISM IS TREATABLE!

Send an Autism Awareness Month e-cardfrom (free) or (free trial membership available). Search “autism” at the prompt.

For additional information please contact us.

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