Greetings, Clubhousers, and Happy World Autism Awareness Day to you all! Hopefully you’ve all got plans to meet on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, or perhaps you’ll stroll down to the State Capital lighting instead. My heart was filled with pride last night to see the Woodman Tower lit up blue for our kiddos (sadly my phone was unable to take a good picture). Nebraska, as with so many other things, is truly a great place to live for our special needs kiddos.
This past winter, Mindi, Alex and I went sledding. As we walked up the hill, a young boy asked me if I was Alex’s daddy. I proudly answered “Yes” and asked him if he knew Alex. He told me that they both were in the same Kindergarten class. Intrigued, I asked him if they had fun in their class. He said that Alex was nice and liked to run. Not long after that we learned our next door neighbor’s granddaughter is also in Alex’s class and enjoys having him there. At school parties and the after school program we noticed that while Alex likes to keep to himself and do his own thing, the other kids are very nice to him and willing to let him participate however he wants to.
Our children are teaching us what we all should do.
Autism Awareness Month is more than just remembering and recognizing that autism is part of the lives of so many kids in the world. It’s about trying harder to understand what life with autism is like and learn to accept those kiddos as they are, exactly like Alex’s classmates do: with patience, understanding and respect. I can only hope those kids will continue to act so nobly as they grow up together with Alex and any other autistic kids in their worlds.
For now, I continue to count our blessings that we live in a time where we can globally take a moment, wear or light something up blue, and remember the challenges that our neighbors may be going through. We applaud the countless people who dedicate their lives to making those kids lives better through their teachings, therapies and never-ending support. And now I can add Alex’s classmates to the people I am thankful for to have in Alex’s life. Those kids are treasures because they do what so many others cannot.
They are neighborly.
May we all be the same in the month and year ahead.
Have a great day everyone!