Hello Aspierations Blog Friends!!
Well, today is April 30th and that means that Autism Awareness Month is about to come to a close. In my April 1st blog, "April is Autism Awareness Month - Let Us Show Our Aspierations", I made a pledge to blog every day in April with stories from the heart about Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and the impact it has had on the lives of my boys, myself, my husband John and our extended family. I hope those that have been following along periodically have found something useful, insightful or enjoyable in what I have shared. I tried to include a variety of serious topics, funny anecdotes, interesting resources and snippets of daily life as the Mom of two boys on the autism spectrum and as an adult on the autism spectrum myself.
I feel very proud and excited for reaching my goal of posting 30 days in a row. If you've read previous blog postings, you've probably picked up on the fact that I enjoy writing but it is often very difficult for me to get started. I have struggled with various form of writer's block or what I call "writer's dam" for many years.
Although you're likely not able to tell it by viewing the blog you're reading now, I also have a tendency to want to edit, rewrite, insert and delete many times before actually hitting the "PUBLISH POST" button. I even find myself editing after I have published my post. Sometimes I want to just delete the whole thing! (It gets very annoying!) I honestly think this compulsion for having things just right ties somewhere in with my Asperger's Syndrome.
My husband John from Life and Times of John Krejcha has been incredibly supportive all month long. As the only official neurotypical person in the family, he will occasionally feel like the oddball out. I kindly remind him that he is indeed odd but still a welcome and integral part of our family unit. John is my rock, my knight in shining armor and my respite care hero who comes to the rescue on days I feel like I'm losing it. He is an amazing father to our children and not just my marriage partner but also my business partner as well. It's not all flowers and puppy dogs. We have our challenges and meltdowns. We're human! Because we work together as well, I know there are times when we both could use our space and yet those are almost always the same times that one of the kiddos is having their own issues. It's a balancing act and some days we stay on the high wire, some days we tumble to the ground. I always know though that John will be there spotting me.
Justin and Ryan have both been amazing inspirations to me, not only this month but for their entire lives. They help me relive what it's like to be a kid (through the good, goofy and the bad). They help show me humor and beauty, complexity and innocence, unconditional love and what is important in life.
Through their special interests of computers, video games, cars and numbers, I have learned better ways of parenting and coming into their world. Justin has shown me more than I would have ever known about LANS, WANS, MANS and SANS and PowerPoint. I also know that since he has the TiVO manual memorized, I can call on him for tech support. It's not like with 3 guys in the house, they'd ever let me have the remote anyway.
If I want to know a family member's birthday, a special date that is coming up or the make and model of any car or truck in our neighborhood, Ryan is my little man! He also helps me get in better shape by playing "Chase the Preschooler" and a Krejcha family favorite, "Eyeball".
Now that the month is almost at a close, I want to encourage those of you reading this to continue supporting Autism Awareness and Acceptance and Let Your Light Shine with your own Aspirations or Aspierations as the case may be! No matter what your life circumstance, no matter where you are on or off the spectrum, no matter what kind of emotional rollercoaster you may be riding, it's okay in this very moment to be who you are, reflect upon who you are, accept who you are, assess who you are.
The time we have here on earth is not unlimited. I truly believe that it is important each day to Let Your Light Shine.
Aspierations - Come As You Are, Let Your Light Shine is going to be launching an Aspierations website this summer. I will still be blogging here but I'm looking to create a website that is inspirational and motivational in nature which promotes acceptance and love for those on the autism spectrum and those family members, friends, teachers and caregivers who are a part of their lives. I will let you know more about this as it comes to fruition!
For now, I want to thank each and every one of you who spent time visiting any of my Blog Posts from April 1st - April 30th of this year. If you want to go back and read any others, there is an Archive List on the side of my blog. One of these days, I'll figure out how to categorize them better. I still consider myself a blogging newbie!
In closing out the month, I am going to share again one of my favorite posts of the month. It was a poem that I wrote on April 8th 2010.
When I wrote this, I was reflecting upon my own life being on the autism spectrum with Asperger's Syndrome and thinking of a thoughtful way to express to others how I would like to ideally be treated, how I'd like to see my two sons on the spectrum, Justin (10) and Ryan (3) be treated and how I'd like to see my fellow journey travelers on the autism spectrum to be treated. To me, I don't just want to promote Autism Awareness, I want to promote Autism Acceptance and Empowerment.
I received a number of lovely posts and emails from delightful people who enjoyed my poem and let me know it touched them personally. Thanks to all that commented and dropped me a line. Your encouragement inspired me to be more courageous in putting myself out there.
Autism Does Not Define Me
Accept me for who I am,
Understand that I may not always get what you're saying.
Trust that God has me here for a reason;
I am an amazing human being.
Socially, I might not fit in with society's expectations.
Mentoring can help me along the way.
Don't forget that I have feelings even if I don't express them.
Opportunities for my happiness are indeed possible.
Educate and encourage me without prejudice.
Show patience and kindness along the way.
Never give up trying to "get" me
Ostracizing me will just shut me down.
Take time to try and come into my world.
Defining me as my diagnosis ignores my essence and best qualities.
Emerging talents may arise when you least expect them.
Friendship and honesty is valued to me more than you can imagine.
I am in need of love and tenderness too.
Never let me give up, especially when you see my mood shift.
Expect the unexpected and watch me enrich your life.
Many people will read this and I pray millions will act.
Embrace and empower someone with Autism today.
Autism Does Not Define Me
Written 4/8/2010, copyright 2010, Karen Krejcha
Please remember that although this may be the end to this year's Autism Awareness Month, love and acceptance for those on and off the spectrum can be practiced all year long!
Letting My Light Shine.... Now it's your turn!
Best wishes and blessings,