Friday, April 25, 2008

Central Michigan Autism Moms Recognized in Local Papers

Wow, autism parents in my local community were featured in two separate news pieces in one day. The first article was on the front page of the my local paper. The second was a column by a student reporter from Central Michigan University for the CM-Life below.

I knew the former was coming out, but not the latter. I was hoping to find a story on the RESD panel that occurred Wednesday at CMU and found this column applauding the efforts of those with CMASA and my son's summer arts camp instead. Both pieces made my day.

My two friends were interviewed for the local paper on Monday. The article came out just this morning. These two friends of mine are the president and vice president, respectively, of the organization of which I am the secretary. The article was about their efforts to get our Autism Society of America (ASA) chapter going as well as their experiences as parents of children on the spectrum.

These two wonderful mothers, myself, and some dedicated friends have overcome a recent tragedy get our local ASA chapter going. We just submitted our chapter application packet a few weeks ago and are hoping to get chapter approval from the National Autism Society of America office soon.

As for column, it can be said I was not expecting it. The column was a heartwarming surprise. Below are the first four paragraphs of the student's column titled "Applaud Autism Awareness." It was written by Frank Eslinger.

"There are many heroes out there doing great things in the world, but for me the real heroes are right here in our own neighborhoods.Parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASDs, are true examples of patience, tolerance and love.

Over the course of the month, I've attended and written stories on some of the local happenings and events for National Autism Awareness month.During these events, I've learned so many new things and met so many truly amazing people. It's been an eye-opening and inspiring experience.

There I heard stories of an adventurous child climbing onto the roof of their home. I've met kids with sparkling imaginations and even one with a love for green frogs.

Above all else, I've learned that no matter how life deals the cards out, nothing will make these parents love their children any less."

My thoughts: We, autism parents in my community do not do the work we do for recognition. We have a passion for helping people on the spectrum and their families. We also do it out of love for our children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. I will admit, though, it was nice to be recognized.

P.S. The child with a love of green frogs sounds familiar...