Apr 1, 2011

Autism Awareness Month, Guest Post

AutismLearningFeltI would like to thank Lisa for inviting me to do a guest post about Autism.  You may not be aware of it, but April is Autism Awareness Month.  This is important to me, because my 12 year old son is autistic.  He is an absolute angel.  I love him to pieces.  He is nonverbal and low functioning.  He has overcome great obstacles, mastering skills that we weren’t sure he would ever learn.
1 in 110 children are diagnosed with autism.  That’s a lot of children.  When my son was first diagnosed, at the age of 5, the rate was lower.  In the small town that I live in, I couldn’t find a doctor that understood autism.  I had to learn all about it myself.  Now, I am finding that doctors here have learned more.  My son’s doctors still ask me a lot of questions, but they are geared more towards helping him versus understanding him.
In the beginning, it was hard to find someone to connect with that was raising an autistic child.  Now, I don’t have that problem.  Only, I find myself in the role of veteran mom, as the parents I meet tend to have younger children.  
There are a lot of treatments for autism available for our children, but none of them are a cure and not all of them are safe.  For my son, I have found that the best treatment has been therapy (speech and OT), as well as constant repetition in day to day living.  Progress has been slow, but he continues to make progress.  At the age of 2, I wondered if he would ever learn how to walk.  He did, at the age of 2 ½.  For a long time, I wondered if he would ever be potty trained.  He was, at the age of 9.  Only when awake.  He still wets his bed at night.  I used to wonder if he would ever learn how to dress himself, feed himself, bathe himself.  He can dress himself, feed himself, and he is making progress on the bathing.  That’s a tough one, but he is progressing.
One thing that is difficult for my family is going out in public.  You see, autism is not a disorder that you see when you look at a child.  When you look at an autistic child, you see a child.  So when your autistic child has a meltdown in public, people think you have a brat or are a bad parent.  When someone talks to my son, and he doesn’t answer, just stares, they think he’s rude.  He’s not a brat.  He’s not rude.  He’s autistic and he can’t talk.  
In writing this post for Lisa’s readers, my aim is to give those that do not understand autism a better understanding of the disorder.  This will lead to a better understanding of my son and other autistic children.  I hope I have succeeded.  I know that it will help if more people would be less judgmental in public.  Please don’t assume a child that is upset is behaving badly, needs to be taught better manners, or has a bad parent.  With 1 in 110 children now diagnosed with autism, your chances of running into a family with an autistic child are very good.

Tammy Lessick

For product reviews and giveaways of Autism related items, visit my blog at http://www.autismlearningfelt.com


  1. Tammy,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Invisible diseases/syndromes suck. (((HUGS)))


  2. Thanks for sharing. I wish all children could be spared any illness and disease. But most of all I wish people would learn to understand what they do not know, instead of acting like infants.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. People should be made more aware of autism instead of shying away from the unknown.

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  5. Thanks for posting and raising awareness. Great blog too!

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