April Fool’s Day is a day full of fun pranks and jokes. It is not the best day for children with autism. My very literal son had a very bad day. He hated all the April Fool’s jokes, and obviously didn’t get it. Not that 2nd graders are particularly good at jokes. When he got back from school he asked if it was still April Fool’s day, and was extremely relieved when today ended and tomorrow is NOT April Fool’s day. So, April Fool’s Day is a bad day for the autistic. They are too literal to get the joke, and it just isn’t funny.
This month is Autism Awareness Month. We are excited to help share and promote autism awareness in our community. The color blue is being used for awareness. The famous Fabulous Las Vegas sign will be blue, and tomorrow we are wearing blue to show our support, as it is officially autism awareness day on Tuesday.
So I invite you to wear blue this month, note the people you know who have autistic children and maybe ask them about it in an nice way, and generally be aware. If you have a child that has signs and symptoms of autism, get them checked by a professional. The earlier these kids get therapy and help the better their long-term outcome. We are all parents trying hard to raise our children in a scary and difficult world. Parents with children with disabilities have twice the battle, sometimes more.
We want what is best for our children and we fight for it, even when we have to deal with a child who is emotionally distraught and can’t handle any more because it was April Fool’s Day. We spend our nights and days dealing with children who need extra care, and a system that is broken and needs extra care. It is exhausting and time consuming. If we have other children we also raise them, and they learn to deal with all the special needs around them. Whether or not it is “fair” is not the question to ask. What to ask is how we can meet the long-terms needs of everyone involved, and what we can do in this moment to make things better. In this moment I am going to bed early so tomorrow I can write more, and do taxes, and follow-up with doctors and the list goes on, but my body needs rest.