Autism Awareness : A Mother Reflects On The Benefits Of Raising A Special Needs Child.

(Me & The Kid : Last Spring's Trip to Big Sur)

April is Autism Awareness month, meaning it's time to raise awareness about autism.

I also thought it would be interesting to note that autistic people tend to have a unique kind of awareness that is all their own.

They might not be aware of the social "rules" the majority of us live by, but they are extremely aware in other ways.

How this manifests really depends on the individual.

Typically though they do have at least one area of intense interest, something that they know in great detail better than anyone else. They are hyper-aware individuals but in a more specialized way than most.

My son's specialties include golf balls & the moon (anything spherical, really), bees, flies and the wind. He's extremely tuned in to the movement of the planets & stars and can predict the weather better than any newscaster I've ever seen. He's also rather psychic.

I have learned so much from being his mom over the years, things that have healed and enhanced my own life.

By learning to pay close attention to what he is so adamantly focused on, his awareness has gradually become my own.

I sometimes wonder who I would be had my son not been born, and, while I'll never really know for sure what would have become of my life, I fear it would not have been good. Something deep down inside me knows that he saved me from myself.

Do I think this was his Soul's purpose? Saving little ol' me?

No. I do not.

I think he's got his own special mission that is still in the process of unfolding.

I do, however, feel that the impact he's had on my life is a profound side effect of that mission and a huge blessing.

If you are blessed to know someone with autism, I highly recommend taking the time to get to know them better.

Even if you are the parent, aide or sibling of someone with autism and feel like you know him or her like the back of your hand, I invite you now to go even further.

See if you can increase your awareness.

Get out of the ongoing narrative in your head about who you think he or she is, the story you tell yourself about their journey, and just witness their experience with an open heart & fresh eyes.

Better yet- engage their world. 

Say the words they say, move your body the way they move their body, look where they're looking and play how they play.

I think you'll find there's more rhyme to their reason than you may have previously realized.

You may even discover real wisdom there.

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” -Paulo Coelho

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