Today is World Autism Awareness Day, so here’s what I’ve learned about awareness over the past couple of years: my son with autism is very aware.
He’s aware of me, he’s aware of you. He’s aware of a lot more than he lets on.
He might appear distracted, aloof, in his own world; he might not answer when spoken to; he might chatter on seemingly oblivious to whether we’re listening or not.
But rest assured: he's taking it in, this frenetic, loud world. If you get to know him, you'll see the signs, hear the words that demonstrate this awareness.
And that's another part of it: will you take his apparent lack of awareness as a sign that he doesn't want to connect? Or will you take a moment to say hello, acknowledge his existence, even if it doesn't come with an immediate payoff? Because, trust me: he's aware of your efforts (and so are we).
So, for this Autism Awareness Day, I'd like to suggest we all assume awareness.