As most of my readers know, autism is a subject close to our hearts. I've lived with autism for 17 years now and worked with autism for 10 years, as a volunteer for the National Autistic Society, helping to support other families in our area and set up local services. Over the years I've tried to raise awareness of autism by writing about some of our experiences with Son 2 here on the blog, my first novel has autism as a central theme and I've given talks to parents and professionals. Autism awareness is a powerful tool in the fight for understanding and acceptance and I've tried to make use of it.
Today, World Autism Awareness Day, I'd like to direct you to two other blogs, written by friends I've made in the blogosphere. Although she doesn't blog often now, Casdok's blog Mother of Shrek is some of the most powerful writing I know on the joys and challenges of living with a young person who has severe autism. Please go back and read the archives if you are not familiar with it.
Crystal Jigsaw's blog celebrates her daughter Amy, who is living what must be an idyllic childhood for a person with autism, on a farm. The author of this blog, Kathryn Brown, has just had a novel, Discovery at Rosehill, published and for April is donating all profits on the book to the National Autistic Society in celebration of autism awareness. I've already read the lovely sample on my Kindle and am going back to download the full book. Full details of where to buy the book in print or ebook format are here.
As a family we have received tremendous benefit from the work of the National Autistic Society, as Son 2 has been educated in two of their their specialist schools since the age of four. But most families are not lucky enough to have that level of support, they are fighting for help in a world that does not yet truly understand the differences of autism or make allowances for them. Anything we can do to raise awareness, however small it might be, has to help.