Our journey in the Autism Spectrum

Posts tagged ‘April’

Let Your Inner Chameleon Shine this April

It’s been months and months since I’ve blogged.  The more time that has passed I’ve felt more and more pressure to write something.  Anything.  But what to write about?  I’ve just not been feelin’ it. As we all know, April is autism awareness/acceptance month so, as my first post since September, I thought I’d do something a little different.

In case you are new to my Facebook page and/or blog, I love chameleons.  I relate to their changing colors and camouflage; their ability to  always change and blend in (or not blend in). For me they also represent the diversity in everyone and their spectrum of many colors relates very well to the Autism Spectrum. It’s a whole big jumble of layers of  awesome symbolism! 

Anyway, getting to the point, I thought it would be fun to have my readers and fans share their own diversity; their “chameleon-ness” as it were.  Below is a link for a PDF file that can be printed out and colored. I’m encouraging anyone and EVERYONE to color their chameleons in a way that best expresses themselves.  This is for kids and adults! Anyone! Whether you are on the Spectrum or not!!!

I would love it, if you are so inclined, to take a picture of you and/or your little chameleon(s) and share your creations! I will be accepting pictures all this month of April. You can share them on my Facebook page, A Chameleon in the Spectrum or via my e-mail at inthespectrum@hotmail.com .

Your photos can be of just your completed chameleon coloring page or with the face of the artist as well.  No names or pictures will be used unless permission is given. I thank you in advance for your participation.

This April 2014 let’s all express,celebrate and share our diversity!!!

CLICK THIS LINK TO PRINT YOUR CHAMELEON:  Chameleon Coloring Page

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It’s That Time of Year…

It’s that time of year. And no, I’m not talking about Autism Awareness Month. For us, it’s time for the annual IEP. Time to schlep out “the binder” and review last year’s goals. Time for that painful rock of anxiety, that I try to keep pushed WAAAAAY down, to slowly rise from my stomach and stick in my chest and throat. Time for me to agonize over what goals  for next year in 2nd grade will be in the BEST interest of my son.

I vowed to stay positive this month of April for my son and for autism awareness. But as I reviewed Henry’s most recent progress reports my positivity faulters. Yes, he has progressed in every single one of his goals.  In fact, he even met his language therapy goal! We adore our SSD teachers, Mrs. T and Mrs. Q!  So does Henry! Lots of wonderful comments on his progress report…his IEP progress report.

His gen. ed. progress report is a whole ‘nother ballgame.  He still continues to have many “Needs Improvement” marks in every area and “Still Developing” in Written/Oral Language. (ummmm…so how did he meet his IEP language goal?)  His gen. ed. teacher is amazing!  I don’t think we could have gotten a better match!  Miss SB always has positive things to say about Henry and she always remarks on the improvements he is making every day.

And still…the anxiety is there.  The worry is there.  If another parent came to me and shared these kinds of thoughts about their child, I know I would tell them to keep moving forward, focus on the positive, work together with your team, communicate with your team.  Because as a parent, we know our kids and can advocate for them better than anyone else.  It’s all going to be OKAY!

Do as I say, not as I do.

This year I go into Henry’s IEP more experienced in the process.  Last year it took less than an hour and I came way very satisfied and as happy and hopeful as I could.  This year will probably go the same way.  I don’t know why I get so anxious.  Quite frankly, it’s exhausting.  Nonetheless, I will get through it.  Somehow.  As I do every year during this time.  I just have to pretend to be that “other parent”.  That parent that I would encourage, “It will be OKAY!”

Forget the Hate. Celebrate! ~ My Autism Awareness Day Post 2013

Every time I think about the subject, or see a blog post, or article, or discussion about it I immediately become EXTREMELY anxious! Like an I-can’t-breathe kind of anxious. Folks within the autism community are STILL “picking sides”. I generally make a run for the hills to avoid any possible confrontation with it.  I feel as if I could easily hyperventilate just trying to write this post.

A year ago, I wrote this.  And here we are again. It’s April. Autism Awareness Month.  Sadly, what I wrote last year still feels very true to me today.  I’m disappointed. It makes me anxious and sad and tired.

I.just.don’t.get.it.

I will support Autism Speaks, the Autism Society , Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (ASHA), the National Autism Association, LifeSkills/TouchPoint Autism Services, and many other autism organizations.  I want to support and promote ANY and ALL of the wide SPECTRUM of organizations and individuals that are working positively toward helping ALL others in this great big, and very diverse, spectrum of AUTISM. We need awareness at all levels of autism so we can promote compassion and understanding for ALL on the autism spectrum, no matter where on this spectrum they may be! It hurts my heart to think that some in our “community” still can’t see that.

Perhaps I should be glad that I don’t get the hate. I’ve got no room in my life or in my heart for more negativity and bitterness. April is Autism Awareness Month and I know that most of my readers are highly aware of autism every damn day, as am I. In 2012 I followed up my post linked above with this post.  And this too still rings true.  Positively so.

Because of all of this I’ve decided that I want to use this month of awareness to CELEBRATE autism. I will celebrate my son, his differences, his challenges, and the amazing progress he continues to make! I will celebrate our educators, counselors, therapists and physicians who help support and encourage us along the way! I will celebrate our whole family for rising up and overcoming the challenges that autism often brings into our lives. In doing this perhaps others, both within the autism community and those outside of it, will learn by our POSITIVE example. And really, isn’t this what we want to accomplish all year long?!?!

Welcome to April! Celebrating Autism Month!

Plain and Simple

April is over. Autism Awareness month has passed for another year. This past month has been filled with blue lights and t-shirts, blog posts and discussions. I have been overwhelmed by the support of our family and friends. This means more to me that I can ever express! Knowing those of you who were willing to turn on a blue light or wear a puzzle piece t-shirt, or forward a blog or share my Chameleon Facebook page to spread awareness to those who may not know or understand about Autism Spectrum Disorders means the world. And the tireless efforts of the parent-bloggers out there are incredible! (I refer to the list of some of my favorites listed down the right-hand side of my blog page).

But despite the added awareness, our daily lives have gone on pretty much same as usual.  We have our  ups and downs and our tribe is very well aware every day the impact that autism has on the entire family. And there are many days where part of me wishes we didn’t have to be so damn aware.

It’s tiresome. Exhausting. Many times I just want to be done with it. I don’t want to talk about it, read about it, or blog about it. And then I check my e-mail, my Facebook. I see that friends and family have commented on my page or on this blog, showing support, letting me know they are there for us! Everyday I get new blog post notifications and status updates from some of the most wonderful, inspiring and just plain amazing people…most of them moms, who write with such beauty and HEART, about their children, their lives with Autism. Their stories may not always be pretty or fun or upbeat but they are always beautiful. And all of this helps me to keep going for my son. To keep writing. To keep advocating. To keep learning. Perhaps that is why we haven’t been able to bring ourselves to change out our blue porch light. We must keep going.

I’ve been trying to search for just the right words to express just how huge my feelings of appreciation are for everyone. Two little words, “thank you”, just don’t seem enough. So, I ask each of you, and those of you with children on the Autism Spectrum will most certainly understand this, imagine someone you love so dearly that cannot express themselves or has trouble with even the most basic of tasks. The frustration of it all. And now, imagine that they completed a task or used their words for the first time…how something so plain and simple can feel so HUGE.

With that in mind, I say “thank you”.

April’s Blue Light Special: Autism Awareness

I have been stewing for days, weeks even, about how I could ever compose a moving, eloquent, and passionate blog post urging everyone I know and even those that I don’t know, to Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness.  I can’t. (But see examples of such posts linked below). Today I have finally realized that the specific words don’t matter. What matters is to just get the word out there. They may not be pretty words or stated in the exact best way but I am putting them out there.

LIGHT IT UP BLUE FOR AUTISM AWARENESS!

There! Done! That being said, now I am asking a favor. If you are reading this post, I am talking to YOU! I am asking that you go out and get yourself a blue light bulb for your porch or any outdoor light and “Light It Up Blue” April 1st and 2nd to kick off World Autism Awareness Month. That’s it. That is what I am asking. Home Depot has even made displays to easily find these blue bulbs! (And for those of you with a “green” conscience, they come in fluorescents, also known as CFL’s,  too!).

For weeks my fellow mommy-bloggers have been publishing blog posts, writing letters, and organizing activities to spread the word about “Lighting It Up Blue” for Autism awareness. They are amazing writers and advocates not only their own children but for all of our children on the Autism Spectrum.  As usual, I am “tardy to the party” and now just trying to hitch a ride on their coattails.

If you read nothing more on this topic I implore you to do just two more simple things:  click here and read this! This is a letter to the President. Our President. Yep, at the White House. It was composed by a most amazing woman, Jess at A Diary of a Mom. So, that is step #1. Now, step #2 is to continue to read the cries and pleas of others out there in the comments section of that letter and to post a comment yourself! It’s easy! I did it: comment #56. Yours’ doesn’t have to be long. It can be just 4 words, “Light it up blue!“. Word on the autism street has it that this letter and comments is making its way all the way to the West Wing!

I hope at this point you are continuing to read this post. In case you are interested, here are a few more beautiful messages written by some of my favorite mommy-bloggers about Autism and Lighting it up Blue:

Aimee’s A Call to Arms at Red Shoes, Autism Blues. Kary at KOAutism regarding April 2nd and Mom-NOS with Don’t It Make My White House Blue. And last but certainly not least, my hilarious, wonderful, brilliant friend, Kara, with A  Message and Around The Stretch.

So, if you know our Rabinowitz tribe personally, please light it up blue for Henry!  Help us spread the word of awareness! If you don’t know our tribe, with 1 in 110 children (1 in 70 boys) on the Autism Spectrum, chances are you know someone affected by Autism! If you are hesitating about turning on the blue light bulb for fear of the questions your neighbors may ask, here are some things you can tell them:

*April 1st kicks off World Autism Awareness month and the Autism community is encouraging everyone to change their porch lights to a blue bulb April 1st and 2nd.

*What is Autism? Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). This includes Autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s.

*Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism. Current estimates are that in the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism.

Any chance you get to spread the word about Autism, whether it be Lighting It Up Blue or simply sharing one of the above links, this blog post, or to share one of many links that come through Facebook, it would be greatly appreciated by the Rabinowitz tribe and the Autism Community as a whole.

In April we’ve got a Blue Light Special on Autism Awareness! It’s cheap, it’s easy! Light it up blue to help spread awareness!

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