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Every Day: What does Autism Awareness mean to my family?

As April wraps up and Autism Awareness Month comes to a close, it has brought many thoughts to the forefront. Our journey has not been easy as any family affected with autism would tell you, but the bright side comes through in the smallest of small moments.

One of our moments was during a short visit at a Sam’s Club where our son Josh (13) made someone else’s day. He noticed a woman with a shirt that had an autism phrase on it and Josh said, “Look at her shirt, it says autism, that’s what I have.” We saw it quickly and all felt glad someone was supporting autism. When we saw her again Josh appropriately approached her and said, “Excuse me, I really like your shirt, I have autism, what is your shirt for?” She gave him a huge smile and replied, “Well hi there! I work with high school kids that have autism.” Josh quickly said back, “Oh! Good for you! Well I’m in middle school and it’s nice meeting you and thanks.”

She replied back with a “you just made my day” and high fived Josh. People were smiling all around them.

Laura Perisin and her family Light It Up Blue (Josh is far right)!

This interaction was short in duration but big in meaning. I spend both my personal and professional time raising awareness around autism and it hit us that our son is the one who helps others realize that autism is all around us. He makes other people’s days and that makes us proud and keeps us advocating every day.

Josh, keep lighting it up blue!!

By Laura Perisin, Family Support Coordinator for AHSS & Mom of Autism

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