Friday, April 1, 2011

It's the Beginning of Autism Awareness Month - No April Fool's Joke!

Wear BLUE to show your support!

Hello Aspierations Blog Visitors,

For those who don't know me, my name is Karen Krejcha and I am the mother to two boys who are travelers along the autism spectrum. I am on the spectrum as well with either Asperger's Syndrome or High Functioning Autism depending on which medical professional's diagnostic criteria you want to use.  I personally try very hard not to let autism or Asperger's define me but it does help for me to know as much as I can about autism and Asperger's Syndrome in order to live the best life possible and be the best Mom, wife, daughter, friend and advocate for my children that I can be.



My youngest son Ryan will be 5 in late May. He is making the transition to Kindergarten in late August after spending two years at a specialized preschool here in Vancouver, Washington.



My oldest son Justin is 11 and is completing 6th grade, which in our school district is his first year of middle school. He was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome shortly after our youngest son was diagnosed with autism / ASD in mid 2008. 

My own realization and self-acceptance of my place on the autism spectrum didn't come until 2009 shortly after our family attended a national conference for the Autism Society (of America) in St. Charles, IL.  It was worth the cross-country journey to make this important self-discovery.  That is a long story and one you can find here on my blog.

I've been blogging at http://www.aspierations.blogspot.com since early 2010. As such, I've shared quite a bit about our family's past as well as many reflections upon my own life.  If you are new to this blog or you  happened in and wanted to read more of my postings, if you check along the right side there are many ways to catch up on things that I've been blogging about. 

Here are a few blog postings to get you started!

WELCOME TO THE ASPIERATIONS BLOG!

Here is a link to My first Aspierations blog post!

Check Out Some Favorite Aspierations Blog Postings:

Autism Does Not Define Me - A Poem by Karen Krejcha (4/8/10)

The Outing of A Gal With Asperger's Syndrome, What Did I Do? (1/18/10)



My husband John is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and although his blog isn't specifically autism themed, he often talks about topics related to life on the spectrum.  John is the only one in our household not on the autism spectrum but we keep him around anyway!


John also has a Facebook Group called Autism and Scouting.  John is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Justin's Boy Scout troop and practices advocacy online at the following Facebook page:




Last year at the beginning of April, I pledged to blog every day in the month as a way of showing my support toward Autism Awareness, acceptance and empowerment.  Thirty days later I completed my thirtieth blog of the month.

Although this year I haven't been so prolific with my writing due to a variety of issues, I am making the pledge once again. 

When I woke up this morning and logged into my email, I literally had over 3 dozen emails from autism related groups or advocacy organizations.  There are a lot of people out there who care about autism advocacy and there are a lot of organizations soliciting support emotionally and financially. Some of these organizations have goals that seem mutually exclusive and for those who want to support the "cause" of Autism Awareness, it can be very confusing to know who to pledge support to.

Just as every individual along the spectrum is unique (as well as every individual off the spectrum), there are many unique lines of thinking about how best to help those with an autism spectrum variance.  The care, treatment and support you give one person might look very different than what is proposed for another person.

I am not here to get involved with social or political rhetoric.  I am an advocate for my children, for myself and for the rights of those with specific health challenges to have access to the care, education and resources needed to live the happiest life possible.  That will look different from family to family. 

I look forward to blogging about many different topics related to autism and Asperger's throughout this month and although you may not always agree with what I have to say, I welcome intelligent and inspired discourse and feedback. 

You will find that I tend to be very open in disclosing details about my personal life in writing, however should you meet me in person, unless we were very close, you would see a different picture altogether unless I was in a mode where I was wearing what I like to call my social mask. I'll get more into this later.

Autism and Asperger's presents very differently between men and women, between adults and children and obviously from individual to individual.  Although there are some similarities which allows for a diagnosis and treatment strategies to be possible, I would speculate that there are many adults out there who sense inside that there is something different about them but haven't yet been able to pinpoint what that was because of perhaps focus on co-conditions (often called co-morbidities) instead. I'll get more into this later as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.  Although I am just one voice, I hope you will find value in the time that you spend at Aspierations and that when you're here, you make the Aspierations tag line your own... Come As You Are, Let Your Light Shine...

When you are here, be here as you are, who you are... flawed, imperfect, talented, gifted and blessed.  If you have a fantastic day, you're welcome. If you have a challenging day, you're welcome too. I have both... and I would expect you do as well.

Let's focus on our abilities and not our disabilities and embrace our DIFFERENT abilities. I believe we all were meant to be here on earth, we all deserve compassion, respect and the opportunity for a fulfilled life. 

When you come across a person with autism or Asperger's or anything other than what society might call "neuro-typical", please remember that we all have blessings and gifts to give.  Without diversity, life would be pretty boring...  Get to know someone with Autism and/or Asperger's today!



Positive thoughts and best wishes for a great April!
Let's let our lights shine!  Remember to wear BLUE on April 2nd and all month long if you'd like!

Letting My Light Shine Blue...
Karen

3 comments:

  1. You've always been a great writer, Karen. I'm glad to see you're using your talent in a way that will help others. I'll be wearing my blue and thinking of you and your sons. Shine on, Karen, shine on!

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  2. Love and support to you and all those out there with autism and ASDs!

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  3. Hi Anonymous and Kelly,

    Thank you both for taking the time to stop by my blog and check out my postings. I truly appreciate the support and kind words. I hope that you'll come back again throughout the month!

    Happy World Autism Awareness Day! :-)
    Karen

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