April is Autism Awareness Month. Until recently I had not had a personal experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A family friend’s son was diagnosed last year and in working at Rainbows, I have had the privilege to speak with families of children with ASD. It has been amazing to me to learn about these families and their journeys with organizations like Rainbows and the difference receiving services has made.
One story that stuck with me is of a 3 year old boy. Most days, I pass this child and his father leaving Kids’ Point. Each time I see them the boy always looks up and says “hi” and asks me whatever question he has at the time. He is so friendly and bright I cannot help but smile when I see him. It was not until I got to write his Rainbows’ story that I learned he had been diagnosed with Autism. Prior to receiving Rainbows’ services he struggled with behavior issues and could not speak. It was amazing to hear his mother talk about the difference Rainbows’ services had made for their family.
She shared with me how excited they were to celebrate Christmas and that because of Rainbows, he could call his parents “mommy” and “daddy.” These experiences have made me more aware of those around me. You never know what people are going through or what they have overcome to be how they are. I’m grateful for the understanding I have gained through these situations. Facts about Autism:
- 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed with Autism this year
- 1 in 42 boys will be diagnosed making them 5 times more likely than girls
- Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S.