On 18 Dec 2007, the United Nations declared with consensus support from all Member States that 2 April each year will be World Autism Awareness Day, with the goal of bringing attention to those diagnosed with autism and to help give them a voice.
So Richard – today is your day! What can I say to you other than, thank you for the joy that you bring me every day and thank you for loving me always and unconditionally. I continue to be in awe of you and again wish to acknowledge how proud I was when you graduated from high school last year.
But today is not just about you Richie, it’s also about all the parents worldwide who look after children like you. To those parents I would like to ask you to step back and enjoy the successes that you have had in helping your child to navigate our world. Enjoy how you now see this world in a totally different light, a light which shines through your children; and enjoy the fact that both you and your child have and will continue to overcome obstacles that you never thought you would have to face.
Today I walk a little lighter and smile quietly to myself as I sit back and acknowledge what we have achieved together as a family, and I thank God for all the blessings which have come our way via Richard!
If only I could have spoken with a mum who had travelled down this road when I was “new” on the scene, the road ahead would not have appeared so daunting.
If only another mum who had been in my shoes, could have just held my hand and said to me “it’s ok, it does get better,” that would have made the world of difference at a time when it all seemed so hard. I’m here to hold your hand and I’m telling you “it’s ok, it does get better”
I want those mums who are new to the world of autism to hear LOUD AND CLEAR… that it does get easier, it will be alright and there are many treatments available which do make a huge difference to the outcome of your precious child. Your life will change, but that’s o.k. Different is o.k.
I’m here to increase the community’s awareness of autism and our children’s needs, I’m here to start making demands for our children and to raise the standards of inclusion and acceptance
And I’m here to shine a light for you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE