Monday, April 22, 2013

Autism Awareness Giveaway, Week 4!!

I cannot believe we are already winding down to the end of the month! Thanks to all who signed up for the giveaways. And here is one more for you!

I walked into our local Dollar General the other evening and while I was waiting in line to pay, I saw the wall behind the register decorated in blue ribbons for autism. I smiled to myself and shook my head in disbelief. And in that moment, I was taken back five years ago...

I had just put Race to sleep and was peeking in on baby Witten when the phone rang. I quietly ran to the phone so the noise wouldn't wake the baby. It was John on the other end of the line. He was driving home from reffing a football game and was calling to let me know he was on his way. And then he said, "Teddy, I just heard something on the radio." John is an avid listener to AM radio.
"Oh yeah?"
"It was about autism. Have you ever heard of that?"
"Yes, John." I said, and a few kids from the school I was teaching at popped in my head.
"Well, a lot of the things they were talking about..."
"You think Race has autism?"
" was just sounding a lot like Race."
"John, he doesn't have autism."
"But, what if he did? What do we do?"
Tears came to my eyes because if you know John, he isn't a worrier. But he was worried about this. And also, I think deep down in my heart, I knew he was right. "If he does, then we'll figure it out as we go. We'll love him. We'll help him. But you don't need to worry, ok?"

That was the first conversation we ever had about the word autism. And it was the first time we associated Race's little tendencies with a defined word. And even now, when things get a little muddy, and stressful, and we're feeling a little crazy, John and I return to that conversation, and all it's ignorant wisdom. :)

"We'll figure it out as we go. We'll love him. We'll help him."

So when it was time for me to check out at Dollar General and I started placing my few items on the counter, I said to the cashier, "That is so cool," referring to the wall of blue ribbons.
"Oh yeah. That's for autism," he said. "It's Autism Awareness month. Do you know anything about autism?"
"Just a little bit," I said with a smile.
"Well, here take this. And get on-line and learn more about it," he handed me some light it up blue info. "It's pretty interesting. And you can donate if you like as well..."

I am so grateful for the awareness that is out there now. More so than there was five years ago when autism, to me was something I knew little about. It was something scary. To me it was uncharted waters I wanted to avoid.

John and I were sitting in Tae Kwon Do last week, watching our boys interact with all their friends. And all the little kids were running around with autism stickers because Ms. Kathy had just read them a story for Autism Awareness Month. And Race was among them. And John leans over to me and says, "You know Teddy, I think autism might be the next cool thing. I mean look at him." He nods over in Race's direction and I hear my husband sigh. It was one of those good sighs.

"That's 'cuz autism is cool," is all I can say through the lump in my throat. Because I know we were both thinking about a phone conversation five years ago.


So, for the last giveaway of the month, the book choice of Mr. Armstrong himself,
 drum roll please...

*You do NOT have to be a follower to enter.
*I have one copy of this book to give away.
 *One winner will be announced on Friday.
*To be entered in the drawings, please leave your name and a way to contact you in the comment area of this post.  Also, we are all effected by autism in one way or another: tell us about it in your comment if you like.

Once again, thanks for stopping by, and Happy Autism Awareness Month!


Brooke said...

Can I just say I love you. I love your entire family. and I absolutely loved this post. xo

Jenn Lewis said...

Race is a trend setter. He has been a great teacher to me and my girls. Thank you for sharing him.

Misty said...

Race is an amazing person and he has been blessed to have such a loving and supportive family. My girls think he is pretty cool too!

Janice said...

Teddy and Jon, You are truly special and wonderful parents and have embraced your journey through life. You are a great example to others in our community. Having a child with a disability is no easy road to walk down (as I know, too)! I appreciate the time I get to see Race at Scouts and the progress he has made. Love ya, Janice Lay 928-301-2315

Karen Myers said...

Hi Teddy,
I just now had a chance to look at your blog. You have done an awesome job!! Keep up the good job! We enjoyed visiting with you yesterday. Race is doing great on the piano and his classroom looks super! Let's try to get together in the next 2-3 weeks..OK! Talk to you later. Loved the Shiny Copper are very talented.
Love, Karen")

Melis said...

Race is so lucky to have you as a mother! You have truly put your entire heart into him! Good job Mom!

We actually started seeing a difference in our 3 year old and worried that it might be asbergers or autism. Or possibly ADHD. We had him checked by a naturopathic Dr. His levels were not that of an asbergers or autistic child, but close. We have changed his diet dramatically and give him different supplements each day to rid him of toxins that are causing harm to his body. I cannot express to you the feelings and emotions we have had through this process. It gives me such a respect for you and what you have made it through and what you continue to go through. Our 3 year old has changed dramatically, in behavior and development, with the changes we have made. He will be fine and I am so grateful.

I can't help but think that these children are the way they are because they were such valiant spirits before coming to earth! You have one of those valiant warriors in your home every day. You are one lucky Mama.

Love you!
Melissa Ballard

A.J. said...

Teddy, I KNOW that Race is exactly where he needs to be--in YOUR family, with you and John as his parents. : ) He could not ask for a better mom. You are an angry mama she-bear when you need to be for him, and his safe haven of love and comfort and familiarity when he needs that.

I am so glad that we are friends and that my kids can grow up knowing someone who's autistic so they can know right from the beginning that autistic people are normal--just a different kind of normal. : )

Hope you have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Teddy (and John) thank you for being you. We love you and your dear little family so much, and appreciate your example. I am REALLY enjoying being back in Primary after so many, many years, especially with my darling student Lane. What a character, what a great imagination. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing. How do I enter the Autism thing - I need another book. The one you gave me at Christmas is one of my top 5 books EVER. XXOO