Last weekend we participated in the Autism Speaks walk. It was my first time putting a team together for something like this. Most of our family joined us. I had been a little emotional leading up to the day, I didn’t know what to expect, I was worried about R being overwhelmed and asking a lot of questions that I didn’t know how to answer. A lot of the emotion was because I was blown away by how generous people were. Not only financially, but also by wanting to walk with us.
I was surprised by the amount of people at the walk. It was then that it really hit me how prevalent autism really is. I know the statistics say 1 in 45 now but to see it up close and personal is really eye opening. It’s amazing to me how wide the spectrum truly is. You can see the evidence of that when you look around at the event. There was a lot of diversity. Autism doesn’t appear to discriminate based on your race, gender,or even financial status. Everyone was represented in that crowd.
R did great. She seemed to be overwhelmed by the crowd but she handled it like a pro. She asked a lot of questions. Our team name was Adventures With Aspergers, ( original, I know!) so R asked a lot of questions about what Aspergers was. We did our best to answer without listing specific traits. She asked some good questions like, can someone have Aspergers and not know that they have it? How is it different than regular Autism? As usual, I wish I had answered some things differently . I always replay my conversations with her in my head and think of things I should have said in another way. Sometimes I wonder how she doesn’t question why I know so much about Autism.
One of my favorite things about our Autism Speaks walk was that our team kept talking about “next year”. We hadn’t even finished this years walk yet and everyone was already planning to do it again next year. Lucky us to have such supportive friends and family!