I don’t talk much about myself here. Some of you have seen my side projects or talked to me in person. A few have even read my profile. But in general, most haven’t. That’s why I wanted to stop and take a moment to talk a little about me and my son.
My son Zachary is 6 and loves the things most little boys love. He loves books and pictures. Loves video games and television. He loves playing outside and swimming and he loves going to Yosemite.
Zachary is special though. When he was a little over 2 he was diagnosed as being autistic. Although he loves the things other little boys love for the most part they are the only things in his world. Sure he sees other kids but to him they are barely there or non-existant.
Sadly, Zachary isn’t verbal. Sure, he has a few broken words and some noises that we’re able to interpret and he’s getting better all the time, but for the most part the average person would have a hard time figuring out what he’s trying to communicate.
Although he doesn’t speak much and he can be very aloof at times, Zachary is a highly intelligent, beautiful, loving little boy. He’s open with hugs and kisses, he can figure out anything with buttons and we’re 100% sure he taught himself to read by age 5 (a major accomplishment for any child). He goes to classes at a public school and they really help.
No one is sure yet why or how children get autism. There is LOTS of speculation and theories, but then there’s lots and speculation about bigfoot and the Lochness Monster too. In either case there’s no concrete evidence. Autism isn’t a disease affecting only the poor, or the rich, or white or black or Chinese or Indian or boy or girl and doesn’t strike with rhyme or reason. The bottom line is it sucks.
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. If you’ve got a couple dollars to spare, maybe you skip eating out one day this week, please, make a donation to a charity that helps families with autism.
We’re lucky enough to have good jobs, a supportive family and a great education system for autistic kids but many aren’t. For many families it can be a huge burden and one that can take its tole on the parents and kids. Not every state and county has programs yet for children with autism so parents are forced to bear the burden of transporting and paying for education at special schools out of their own pocket in creasing the burden.
I personally support Autism Speaks but you can choose the charity you like. There are plenty working on this problem. Help out a family who needs it. Give these kids a chance to lead semi-normal lives. Please, donate today.
By the way, in case you were wondering why there weren’t any posts yesterday Zac has taken to wanting to watch his favorite music videos right before bed. Unfortunately they’re only on my Mac so we watch them on the bedroom monitor while he settles down for bed. Sometimes I fall asleep too.
Have a great night/day everyone. Thanks for reading Yosemite Blog.