Autism Awareness Month
My character, Tess, from Chaysing Dreams, volunteers at a facility where the residents have autism. Here’s a brief “teaser” from the book when she visits the site on her sixteenth birthday:
“Tess!” I hear Tony yelling as I enter one of the sites. Tony comes running to me with a big smile. He is eighteen, and has autism. He doesn’t make eye contact, clasps his hands together, and starts rocking.
“Hi, Tony! I miss you so much!” I gently pat his back, and he gives me a shy smile.
“What are we going to do today? Did you drive? Where’s your car? What kind of car do you drive? You look really pretty today. I like your hair.” Tony shoots off rapid-fire questions.
“Whoa, slow down, Tony!” I say, laughing. “No, I didn’t drive, but I’ll be getting my license soon! I’m sixteen today!” I’m excited to share my special day.
“Tess, it’s your birthday today?” Jennifer, the nurse, asks me. I nod, smiling at her.
Amy comes running to me. “It’s Tess’s birthday, it’s Tess’s birthday. I want cake!” Amy starts yelling and spinning. Amy is fourteen, and she is adorable. She gets over stimulated easily though, so I have to be careful not to stress her out.
I look around and notice that there are six more of the residents surrounding me. They are all very excited. I decide to distract them. “Ok, guys, how about we do some games first? Who wants to play some basketball?”
It works like magic! The residents are now focused on the game. We set up the indoor basketball net, and play HORSE. It’s so fun to laugh and run around with them.
Personally, I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with kids and adults with autism. These guys are truly a treasure. And their intelligence always blows me away.
There are different levels of autism. Some are mild, and some may be severe cases. I can promise you this much, these guys have always been able to bring a smile to my face. They have a heart of gold, and just need their own way of dealing with things.
Maybe you’ve been as lucky as me, and have encountered somebody with autism. Maybe it’s your family member, or a friend, or an acquaintance. If you haven’t, I would recommend you volunteer at places that serve kids or adults with autism. I promise you, not only will you learn from them, but they will make your heart smile.
It’s Autism Awareness Month so I felt that it was important I write a blog about it. The more the general population is aware, the better we can help.
Would love to hear your experiences or special stories regarding autism! Share your stories on how special these guys are!