Autism Will Touch Your Life

So often we avoid talking about the tough stuff. When someone is going through a difficult or emotional time, many people respond by backing away. They fear offending the person or getting it wrong or not having all the best advice or ability to “fix” the situation. I am guilty of this, even with my closest friends and family.

When it comes to autism, I want to talk about it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that autism now affects 1 in 36 children in the US. Including this handsome little man right here.

What this means is that you are GOING TO cross paths with someone autistic. OFTEN even. They may be in your own family or circle of friends, at your children’s school, the neighborhood playground, or the grocery store…

Autism will touch your life.

Some ideas to support autistic individuals and their families…

✨Lead by example. Your children see the way you are around people who are different.

✨Talk with your kids about autism and beautiful differences.

✨Always presume competence.✨ Nonspeaking does not mean a person cannot communicate, understand you, or that they don’t have feelings. (Or want to play with you! They may really want to, and just not know exactly how to initiate play.)

✨ If a person is not making eye contact, or moving their body in a unique way, do not assume that they are not listening. In fact, that might be HOW they are able to focus on what you are saying. (So don’t talk about them like they’re not there.)

My blue-eyed boy is always listening, watching, learning. He’s taking in every little inch of this big old world. And though he may not say, he wants (and deserves!) to be included. 🖤

Thank you for being here and learning from this boy with us. YOU are helping spread kindness, inclusion, connection, understanding, patience, and so much love.

It isn’t enough to know that autistic people exist.

As we enter World Autism Month, I am excited to share more about my boy with you. He is the reason our little shop, Little Rebels with a Cause exists, and he is a constant reminder that every single person I encounter is so much more than meets the eye, and maybe he will remind you, too.

We share his challenges, progress, joy and everything in between because it isn’t enough for people to just know that autistic people exist.  We want the world to understand the vastness of this spectrum/sphere, including the behaviors, abilities, needs, challenges, and beauty in every single person who is autistic.  

We want people to learn about and celebrate differences.  When someone looks, sounds, smells, and behaves differently than you, how wonderful of an opportunity you have to learn from them!

When you meet someone like my boy, whose brain may work differently than yours, it may take some time and patience to understand the paradox that is his life. How someone as wild and free as the wind can also feel as caged as a bird; with words, thoughts, and feelings often trapped inside of him.

How he needs predictability and order like his sandwich cut a certain way, the same clothes daily, and to constantly see his schedule, but this same boy loves speed, spinning, and falling just to the edge of out of control.  I think all of this is how he feels safe but also feels ALIVE.  

I spent a lot of time trying to untangle all the contradictions inside of this sweet boy, like it had to be one way or another. It doesn’t. He is not something to be untangled or fixed, just understood, supported, and included.  

This blue-eyed boy finds JOY everywhere, and the best part is, he helps others see it too. I hope you get the chance to know him, or someone as uniquely wonderful.