April is Autism Awareness Month. Last year, I participated in the Autism 5K Walk and I am excited to share a few of my favorite memories from that special day. What better way to show my support for the cause than to participate in a 5K walk? It was a little cold for us Floridians as the day began. All of the runners went first and then the walkers started. That’s us.
Laura, Laura and Meme participated in the walk. One of my 2016 fitness goals was to participate in as many 5ks as possible.
First, I really wanted to get healthy and this was a great way to start. These two great ladies agreed to walk with me so I was thankful to have them as my accountability partners.
Second, we wanted to walk for ’causes.’ We are not concerned with finishing first or receiving medals. We wanted to give back and in return, we get healthier and our hearts are so blessed.
A few highlights from the day: There were signs along the walking path to raise awareness for Autism. At the end of the walk we posed for a picture.
“A” is for Autism
This is the first sign along the way and it sparked a discussion: “A” is for autism. Now the educator in me automatically made me think of school and grades and kids. I feel that the “A” has been a symbol of a way for parents and educators to measure how well student perform in school. While this is still a grading system used across the United States, it prompted a conversation that not all milestones our children achieve can be measured by a set of grading scales.
Journey to fitness.
For example: we were on a journey to get healthy so we are starting with a commitment to one 5K a month. It doesn’t matter how fast we walked at first. It only mattered that we completed the 5K , and WE DID. So I guess it is compared to a journey to getting fit. We know that we won’t reach our goal in two weeks or two months but we made progress at our own pace.
I love this sign because I understand what it means. So often we think that just because someone doesn’t speak up, it means he/she doesn’t have anything to say. We all process things differently. I hope we can begin to understand that we need to value everyone for who they are. It compares to the fitness journey example. Everyone is on his/her own journey. We arrive at our goals at different times. Our goals are different just as we are. We need to honor and respect each other as the wonderful individuals that we are.
Autism By Definition
Autism is a…. variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns.
Here are two five star books from Amazon that are very good resources.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition by
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum Paperback – November 15, 2011 by