April is kind of a big month around these here parts.
For one, it's my birthday month.
I know, I know...what other reasons do I even need to list after that one,
but there are a few other reasons April rocks my socks.
For one, it's finally spring
and for some reason Eastern NC decided to take a cue from it's northern neighbors
and hold onto winter a little longer than usual.
No bueno, Mother Nature.
3rd Quater report cards have been sent home,
meaning we are officially on the downslope to summer,
it's only a short nine weeks away, folks.
Oh and April is Autism Awareness Month.
Autism is one of those "mystery" illnesses.
We learn more and more about it every day,
but it's still such a hard thing to pin-point,
as symptoms and treatments are never black and white.
I've always been intrigued by autism,
and mental illness in general.
I have a huge passion for children with special needs
and an even bigger passion for helping children with special needs.
It's 2013 people. We carry computers in our pockets,
we can travel to the other side of the world in a matter of hours,
and we can cook pizza in the microwave.
Taking care of and supporting people with special needs
is not rocket science and it's not something we should be "afraid" of.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, irks me more than when a parent
refuses to explore the option of testing for a special need
because they don't want their child to be labeled.
Now, I am not a parent,
and therefore I am aware that my opinions have absolutely no credibility.
BUT - I do spend 40 hours a week, 10 months a year
breaking my back to give 23 very sweet, very different babies
everything that they need to succeed.
Sometimes it's an extra hug in the morning,
sometimes it's a warm coat at Recess,
sometimes it's a high expectation that they can do anything they set their mind to,
but sometimes they need more.
Sometimes, some kids need more than what I, alone, can give them.
And as a teacher, I want them to have that, even if it means a "label".
As a parent, you should want the same thing to.
Kids with special needs, autism or anything else, are still first and foremost kids
It doesn't change anything, except for the fact that it can make your life
and their life so much easier.
If your kid had asthma, you wouldn't ignore the fact that they can't breathe.
You would take them to a doctor, find a diagnosis, and get them an inhaler for help.
Children with mental illnesses should be no different.
Long story short,
April is a pretty awesome month.
There are all sorts of of ways to support the Autism Society,
this month and every month.
But for me, this month is more about just being aware
and if you take one thing with you from today's post,
All children have special needs - something special they need from us,
their parents/teachers/adult role models.
Our one job is to provide these children - our future - with the things they need
to eventually become functioning citizens on their own.
Don't take that away from them, even if what they need is different than what you hoped it would be.