I figured I'd buck the trend and post on awareness mid-month. Just in case you all forgot: April is Autism Awareness Month.
But awareness is a double-edged sword, isn't it? After all, a little knowledge can be dangerous. (Cue the video of Jenny McCarthy on Larry King during Autism Awareness Month 2008.) People by and large are familiar with the face of autism in its severe form and the ubiquitous prevalence data. And so - and perhaps I'm being pessimistic - the popular conception of autism is: scary and prevalent, and maybe related to vaccines. Superficial awareness - I'm not a fan.
And that's why I'm blogging to support not the promotion of superficial awareness but rather the promotion of a real, multi-dimensional understanding. For me, as a parent, I've come to understand autism through the stories of real life parents and of autistic persons alike. The nature of the disorder - the good and the bad - comes to life and takes shape through these stories.
And on that note, I'm recommending Autism the Musical, a video that served to promote my understanding back in April of 2008, when I was three months into my journey. It represents a pretty good cross section of the autistic spectrum, from classically autistic to PDD-NOS to asperger's. One of the cast members, Lexi, stole my heart, and to this day, the memory of her beautiful voice warms my heart. This blogger's advice: buy the video and steer clear of CNN. My two cents.