April is Autism Awareness Month. And I’m aware.

//April is Autism Awareness Month. And I’m aware.

April is known as Autism Awareness Month. We look at it differently: April is Autism Acceptance Month.

And this month holds a special place in our family. Amid several birthdays and celebrations of college semesters coming to a close, Autism Acceptance month gives us a whole new way to celebrate a member of our family.

April Autism Awareness Month - theCityMoms

Ironically, my son was diagnosed with ASD in April of 2017. Recovering from the news a diagnosis can mean many things for many families. Oftentimes there are feelings of sadness and/or loss. My journey as a parent with a newly diagnosed child was not easy and brought about many emotions. Of course, I was sad and scared at the uncertainties. Honestly, I struggled a lot. {I wrote about this on theCityMoms blog last summer in my post “I built a wall after my son was diagnosed with autism.”}

Two years later, I’m happy to view the retrospect of his journey. I’ve watched my son grow into an amazing preschooler who talks nonstop about LEGOs, planets and pirates. He’s become an amazing artist, bringing his imagination to life through his drawings. He works hard at being an amazing friend.


WHAT A VALUABLE RESOURCE: Meet Synapse Sitters – a service for children with special needs


I’ve become a better mother and advocating ally. I’ve discovered my passion for inclusive education and have pursued that passion through my doctorate course work. I love harder and pray a heck of a lot more.

Of course, there are hard days. There are many sleepless nights and challenging days that we have to work through.

But as I stated on my personal channels at the beginning of the month, my dear son’s tragedy was not his autism diagnosis. It is living in a world that doesn’t make room for the neurodiversity that those with autism bring the table.

So this month we will celebrate autism, the ups and the downs. We will use this month to be educators. We advocate for a world that has room for neurodiversity.

To my son: I’m forever proud, amazed and loving you ❤

MORE INFO: If your family is also experiencing the journey of autism, there are many organizations that can help. Visit the Autism Society of Indiana or Easterseals Crossroads for support, education and more.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alicia Hazelwood - theCityMomsAlicia Hazelwood is pretty sure she will never actually graduate from school. She is currently pursing her Ph.D. in educational psychology with a focus in online learning.

When she’s not knee-deep in research, Alicia serves in her favorite role as mommy to her four year old son.

She enjoys crafting, Costco and chasing a good coupon deal. She uses cycling and running to compensate for her love of eating too many tacos.

2019-04-20T11:00:04-05:00April 20th, 2019|
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