Wednesday, April 2, 2008

CNN covers Autism all day today!

Today CNN is covering autism all day! Seven years ago almost no one knew what autism was, or what it looked like. Television coverage was rare and the only reference most people had about autism was the movie Rain man. I remember how people responded with sadness when I said Nicky had autism, but it wasn't until they saw Nicky and spent time just hanging out with us that they began to understand. I think it's impossible to comprehend what it's like to live with autism unless you've done it.

There are so many little things you just don't see when you see these kids - you don't see what it means when a child doesn't understand danger, or what it means when a child can't control their body, or what it means when a child can't tell you when they hurt or where they hurt, or what it means to have a child who can't tell you if someone hurt them. It's hard to imagine what its like to know that you won't be here one day and who will care for your child who is so vulnerable, or to struggle over and over for a school placement, support services, medical services, therapy intervention, proper educational programs and simply getting the right food in their stomachs.

I know we may not find any answers to cure Nicky of his autism, but I am hopeful that coverage like CNN's all day today will help with Nicky's future. I hope it will make more doctors and parents aware of the early warning signs. I hope it creates pressure for the insurance company's and I pray that attention to the severity of this issue may create changes in how people think about our children. I hope it will get people thinking about how we can create jobs for our children as they come of age. It may help to make everyone aware of how vulnerable our children are and the global impact these kids will have on us all.

Thanks CNN.

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