April is a month all about awareness: Garden Month, Earth Day, and Child Abuse and Autism Awareness. As families I think it’s important to discuss the scary prevalence of Autism in our world, and be more aware of the things to look for with Child Abuse. It’s not about making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I think it’s important for everyone to be more aware, and know what the risk factors are and what to look for.
Autism is now being diagnosed in 1/88 kids in the USA. That’s a pretty scary fact. Autism usually shows up before age 3, and creates problems in communicating and interacting with others. Physical disabilities can also manifest. My experience with individuals who have Autism is that they’re wonderful individuals who have a very unique perspective on the world. Yes, they can get a little violent or seem different, but in just about everyone I’ve met, they’re just people like you and me. You can learn more about Autism, as well as what to look for with your children here.
Over 3 million cases of child abuse are reported in the US each year. One of the most common signs are bruises, but there are others too. The best way to prevent child abuse is to get connected. Parents: get responsible sitters in regularly so you are less stressed and frustrated, and seek professional help if your children are excessively violent. As a community we can get involved by talking with neighbor kids (not strangers) and their parents, as well as donating used clothes to charities who support those who have financial burdens. I believe child abuse is 100% preventable: it’s up to all of us to get the support we need to raise the children of America, and the world. You can learn more about what you can do here and here.
My heart is not to freak you out and make you see problems where there aren’t any, but to raise awareness and to encourage you to support parents who are dealing with challenges while raising kids. It’s never easy to raise kids, but if we all support each other in raising our kids, they will have a bright future.
If you’ve got experience as a special needs parent or are someone who counsels families, I’d love to have you share your thoughts below.