We are getting ready to launch our new shirt design for Autism Awareness Month in April. This is our second design that has the Awareness in Action tagline. I’m thinking it’s fairly obvious, but just in case, here’s what I mean…
Awareness is simply the knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. Action is the doing. I was aware that my pants were getting tighter. I was aware that the amount of soda I was consuming was ridiculous. Before I decided to make some changes, join a gym, track my exercise and food intake with My Fitness Pal, it was merely awareness. Working out, cutting out the sodas, watching my food intake, drinking more water, utilizing My Fitness Pal is the ACTION. So embarrassed to admit this, but over the past year I allowed myself to get up to my highest pregnancy weight! UGH! I was AWARE of what the scales and my pants revealed, but I wasn’t ready for the ACTION until recently. This Saturday will be two weeks since I made a few changes, and I’m already down 5 pounds. Whoop! Whoop!
So what does that mean in regards to Autism awareness in action? Most people have heard of autism. Many have seen Rain Man. Probably have caught news clips here and there about what does and doesn’t cause autism as well as the rates of autism.
April 2011 was our first year to acknowledge Autism Awareness Month. Brian made some yard art. This photo reflects the CDC statistics from 2011.
Here’s Camden’s cuteness the following year, in April of 2012:
And here’s Camden in April of 2013, reflecting the CDC’s newest numbers:
My husband made new art last year that reflects hope.
As jaw-dropping as it is to see, I hope Brian updates the original yard art. The numbers the CDC released in 2015 are 1 in 42 boys. The way the numbers are rising, it is going to hit very close to home to many of you very soon. But that’s just awareness. What would action look like? Here are just a few examples:
- Ditch the “R” word for good. I wrote about it here.
- Consider volunteering in the special needs class at your place of worship. I wrote about our experience here.
- If you are a grandparent to a kiddo with autism and that child is on a special diet, support the parents and child. It won’t kill a child not to have ice cream or candy. And remember that the parents are living it 24/7.
- Autism can be very isolating. If you are a guy and are friends with an autism dad, consider inviting him to lunch or Top Golf or the movies. Maybe he’d like to share about his autism world, and maybe he’d just like the reprieve.
- If you are a parent that gets easily frustrated that you can’t bring nuts or junk food or food with dyes or whatever to your kid’s school, please try to extend some grace and compassion.
- Maybe check out some picture books from the library to help your younger kids understand what autism is, although as a spectrum disorder it looks different from person to person. Main things are: struggles with communication, struggles with social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. I think My Brother Charlie is a good book with nice illustrations. Read it with your child, talk about autism, and maybe role play how to be a friend to someone with autism.
- Many kids with autism struggle with detoxification. Consider ditching your toxic pesticides and fertilizers for a non-toxic option. Or if you won’t give up up the toxic options, consider spraying/treating when your ASD neighbor is on vacation.
Many autism parents can feel frustrated with all the awareness. All the talk. The numbers are rising and we need more doing. I shared more about that last year.
We have our new Autism Awareness t-shirt design all ready to go. It’ll be available for pre-order next week.
I love the shirt. It’s simple. It’s V-neck, which many of you have asked for. It honors Camden, who has autism. And it honors, my little guy, Carson. Carson is an AMAZING autism sibling!! He has been hands down, the best therapist for Camden, b/c really it just comes down to the fact that he loves Camden and is his friend. Carson is a St. Paddy’s baby, so the green is for him!! =) I absolutely LOVE seeing both of my boys in this design.
My graphic gal and friend, Sheila, over at Simple Piece Designs put the shirt together. My beautiful, talented, big-hearted friend, Emily, offered to take pictures of Brian and I in our newest t-shirt design. You can check out Emily’s talent here. You’ll be glad you did. =)
Brian and I met up with Emily in our downtown area. She worked her magic.
For size reference, I am wearing a medium and Brian is wearing a large. I had my friend and fellow autism mom, Leslie, try on the small and take some bathroom mirror selfies. Leslie has an action plan for her health and is a kick-boxing queen. Super proud of her for all of her hard in getting to a size small and looking amazing! She’s gorgeous!
We will have some give-aways next week when the new shirts are ready for pre-order. Be on the look out!