With statistics like 1 in 70 boys diagnosed with autism, if you don’t have a child with an autism diagnosis you likely know someone who does and have created a meaning for the word in your mind.
I invite you to sit for a moment and open up your awareness to what words, what feelings, what images come up for you when you think of the word autism.
Are they words and images that bring up feelings associated with fear, pain, suffering, anger, or guilt?
Have you noticed that as a society, we’ve been programmed to respond in fear and despair when a child is diagnosed with autism? I’m not saying those feelings are invalid in any way or that our children are not suffering. What I want you to consider is how you respond to the meaning behind a word.
With the start of Autism Awareness Month tomorrow I want to bring more awareness to the way we as a society think about autism and the feelings associated with the word. I want to invite more acceptance and understanding for our children and families living with the diagnosis every day.
When you open up to see and hear the unique ways children with autism express themselves, you can begin to see how accurately they respond to their environment. They are not clouded by social conditioning and conformity but rather live according to what is alive in them and what feels good or doesn’t feel good in that moment. They teach us to be present.
If you do associate autism with feelings that create fear, stress and anxiety, I invite you to consider finding one example of how autism has changed you for the better. For me, I’ve learned to live more in the present moment and see every behavior from my son as a form of communication.
I will continue to find ways to help his healing journey and ease his life in the body he’s been given and I will do it to the best of my ability with peace, love and acceptance for everything that he is.
Here's to a month filled with more awareness AND acceptance.
As a Mind-Body and Equus Coach, Diane Hunter helps parents reconnect with their inner guidance system to find a sense of peace and a deeper connection with themselves and their child. She writes on her blog www.afterautism.com to share her stories with others and share how to listen beyond words, open up to the power of non-verbal communication and find freedom from physical and emotional pain. On most days you’ll find her hanging with her greatest teachers, her children, and her husband in their home in Los Gatos, CA.