Thursday, April 18, 2013

Autism Awareness Month 4/18 - Captain Jacktastic - Blogger

Today's post comes from a blogger. Tina at Captain Jacktastic is both a mother and works as a behavioral aide in Northern California. I asked her to describe herself and she sent me this:

Living on the beautiful northern coast of California, nestled into the redwoods, I try to balance my Jersey girl roots with a hippie sensibility. I am a latecomer to the autism world and not only a teacher within it, but a student as well. Jackson is my zen master and I try to be a dutiful student. 

And I loved it.

What I really like about this post is that it deals with Autism Awareness perspective. Who is the one who needs to be made aware.

Check out her blog here and her Facebook page here. I've come to known this talented writer over the last few months and couldn't be more proud to have her in our community.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a wonderful writer and human being, Tina from Captain Jacktastic...

Autism Awareness Month
Puzzle pieces everywhere I look on Facebook.

I WANT to say that I get all yippy skippy about this every year.....but the truth is: I don't
Sure, I post a few pics on my wall-- some of the more clever memes. I throw it out that there that YES! April IS Autism Awareness Month....

But I don't really have the energy OR the inclination to do much more.
I exist in a world that is SO AWARE of autism, I would rather NOT be so aware at times.
I would rather be blissfully UNaware- for an hour. A day..... A week.

My son (of my heart-- as I am not his birth mother ) is severely autistic. As well as developmentally delayed coupled with a disease called TSC which brings with it a seizure disorder. I work as a one on one aide for a HF autistic first grader who is mainstreaming to the neurotypical classroom. I have been with this little guy since pre-school. My husband is a special education teacher who works with the lowest functioning and oldest of the school system.

Awareness? We got it in spades.

Our household is run by and for a benevolent tyrant who requires 24/7 supervision. 

Jackson has only recently gained language. So we try to honor every and all requests.

That means when we hear CHIPS! YES CHIPS! we fetch.
That means when we hear SHOES ON! we do so.
That means when we hear solid high pitched screaming that has no discernible place.....we have to figure it out. FAST
And if not.... calm, sooth, and divert.
We cannot just leave the kids with a sitter. We cannot accept every invitation to events.

EVERY event that occurs in our life is run through an autism awareness filter.

But make no mistake:
I am not complaining. I am sharing my AUTISM AWARENESS experience.

Because of autism, I am now aware of so much more, too.
Shadows and light.
The criss cross patterns of some of our supermarkets ceilings.
I am aware of small moments of courage and triumph.
I am aware of Jackson's indomitable spirit.
I am aware of joy found in a smile and random eye contact.

I am aware of what autism has taught me as a person, a teacher, and a mother.

Jackson may not always be aware, but I always will be.

Ed. Note: Nicely put, Tina.
Check out her Facebook page, give it a "like" and tell her Find My Eyes sent you!

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