Happy World Autism Awareness Day! I woke early this morning and went to all my go-to Autism websites to find celebrating words for this special day. I looked for 45 minutes for something inspiring to share on social media. All I found was “We must increase awareness,” and “generate funds,” for research and this and that, and “we have a long road ahead of us”. I even read an article that said, if I were looking for a feel good story, I would not find it there.
Well, I was looking for a feel good story. Not that there should not be an urgency to increase awareness and raise funds, because there absolutely should. But on this special day, I prefer not to worry about the next run or walk or event and money to support the cause. I just want to celebrate the beautiful people who have Autism, their families, and everyone who supports the cause. That’s all.
I am certain the empowering stories are being shared and I need only look a little longer, but I thought I would indulge and share a bit of our family.
Not only is it World Autism Awareness Day, but the entire month is Autism Awareness Month. Robin and I have three boys on the spectrum, and we will be celebrating them the entire month. The leader of the three is the one and only Tyler Daynes. He is the reason Keep It Together Man was written. If you read the book, Ty is the kid who could not keep his emotions nor behavior in check. He was suspended from school, kicked out of two soccer leagues, and offered Non Public School services by our district because they could not teach or handle him. All this and more occurred before his first grade year.
People who knew him then cannot believe the young man he has become. He is currently in 7th grade, full inclusion. He is a straight “A” student, Star Scout, just completed his first season of rugby, and leads his baseball team in every positive batting statistic except home runs. Well, that is until yesterday, when he hit his first ever bomb.
The video sucks, the camera man sucks, the commentator sucks. By the way, in the video you will hear me say, “You have done this before.” It was only a matter of time before Ty hit a dinger, so I told him when it happens to act like he had done it before, even though he had not. I should have kept my mouth shut. In any case, Robin and I were both there to witness it. I should also add that Tyler’s Aide from school came to his game. That’s right! She takes care of him every day at school and then on her day off gets up early Saturday morning to watch him play a baseball game.
Hats off to those on the spectrum, their parents, siblings, teachers, aides, and all supporters! To celebrate this day and the entire month, on April 1st no foolin, Ty launches one for Autism.