My Autism Numbers
By Jenn Lynn on March 27, 2014
Today was a rough day, for those sharing the ASD fish bowl. The reality of 30% increase in ASD cases is scary and yet another rude, wake-up call.
We must keep educating our kids and each other. We have to come together to share ideas, best practices and build each other up. We must fight for our children.
The facts for me are this though: I am not a scientist. I will support those doing research always and hope my dollars prove fruitful, but I know and trust that thousands of curious and qualified researchers are dissecting zillions of cells to find a cure or cause for the rise in autism and for that I am thankful.
I understand it’s important, I get this it is an epidemic, but I cannot live filled with anger or fear. I need to be around a long time and stress kills. I have to live in hope of one amazing future for my child.
The issue at hand for me, and my primary focus of this piece is to share another way to look at the numbers that impact our daily lives. Call me nutty, call me rosy glassed, call me what you want, I don’t really care. What I want to do is provide a lighter, positive side of autism and lift those up who are feeling low. That’s the one thing I can control. It’s all I know so here are MY autism numbers.
1.2 million kids under age 21 have some sort of ASD diagnosis. That equates to nearly 3 million very tired parents. (I think)
Thousands of dollars spent on diapers, outlet covers, baby gates, no-spill cups, shoe laces that slip, chewing gum, fidget toys, weighted blankets and chew sticks, forever!
365 prayers for patience, strength and guidance this year, last year and the next.
88 black and white keys for Jake to tickle on the piano.
1 cup of cereal and 1 apple cut exactly the same way for breakfast every day.
Zero times I refuse Family Snuggle Time.
5:55 amis the wake up time – 5:55pm we start the downward spiral.
50+ photos taken by Jake that are good enough to publish.
2 Cans of Diet Coke I can slam if I’m desperate.
70 or so really cool Super Hero moms I know.
40 mph is the average happy speed we ride on our bikes.
92x’s I’ve been asked about our attic and the lightbulb.
1 big bottle of wine can be consumed by each Super Hero mom after and before an IEP meeting.
BTW: the IEP is 42 pages long!
2 books read every night of his life.
10 fingers missing nails, 10 toes where they are too long, because cutting 20 toenails in one sitting grosses me out.
30 oz of liquid soap used per shower, without fail.
4 friends I can really trust.
6 supremely acute senses that don’t miss a thing!
8 teeth left to get loose, incite panic and be pulled out.
3 glasses of wine and a good order of Coco Shrimp before I fall asleep and forget about everything.
2x’s a month we shave his head.
9 kids in Jake’s class is about his limit.
24 books on my shelf about special needs.
3/2012 the month our lives changed when we won private placement.
9 Initials labeling my Super Hero. (ASD, ADHD, possible MD)(for now).
3 miles we try to walk every warm morning in 45 minutes.
60 minutes is our limit in church before major irritation sets in.
11 is the size of his ridiculously huge feet at 11 years old.
2 verbal prompts for each task if I really want it done.
4 pills and 3 supplements in the morning.
2 pills and 1 supplement in the evening.
100 miles round trip driven to each behaviorist appointment for years.
14 months old was the age we got tubes in our ears.
9 months was the age we started running. (we haven’t stopped).
Every time is how often we need to listen to our kids and pay attention to their behaviors. They are here to teach us and we are their students. With numbers reaching into the millions, just think of how many people will understand more about Autism when our kids reach the real working world.
It doesn’t mean they will be accepted or not made fun of, but it does mean more people will get a chance to love (and hopefully understand) our kids like we do.