October is Autism Awareness Month
“October is Autism Awareness Month”. This is what the poster on the hospital’s wall said. I stared at it puzzled and fatigued, 6 years ago, wondering how come this month was also chosen by my daughter to leave the womb and start breathing the polluted air of a blue planet in the solar system.
I was shocked no more when the hospital developmental team had given me the worst prognosis and labeling they could possibly come up with for her condition, and presented it in their doom-day style. Luckily, I had a whole year to prepare for what they are going to say. There is only one hospital for children serving the over 4 million British Columbian population. Therefore, waiting lists for diagnosing children with developmental delays are extremely long, which gives worried parents enough time to get therapy and informal diagnosis from more people-oriented community professionals. In fact, the worser the diagnosis – the better for her. She will get more help. And so she did.
This month I will be celebrating my only daughter’s 10th birthday. I will also be celebrating my ten years of motherhood, and ten years of living with autism 24/7. My daughter is perhaps the single most influential person in my life, and my most beautiful inspiration for anything from mundane tasks of folding socks and preparing lunch boxes, to more poetic activities such as perfumery, photography and writing.
To honour my daughter and muse, I have decided to dedicate all my writing to SmellyBlog this month to all the things that my daughter loves, and also have a few Autism related blog entries. Therefore, this month will be dedicated to pumpkins, strawberries, ice cream, birthday cakes and lots of other Halloween candies and anything else my daughter obsesses about. There may be also a few little short stories or articles about autism with great references and resources, to increase awareness – as this is, after all, Autism Awareness Month.
There will also be an Autism Blogala – lots of blog events, in this blog and any other blogs that will be joining us, to raise funds for Autism community, education and research organizations around the world. More about this in the next post.