April is Autism Awareness Month and here at Camarillo Bridal Boutique we have partnered with the Autism Society of Ventura County in order to help bring awareness to the Spectrum and provide resources for local families. So for every wedding gown we sell we are making a donation to Autism Society of Ventura County to help them fund their various projects and resources. Autism is more than a cause to support, IT HITS VERY CLOSE TO HOME!
I grew up as an only child until I was 14. Then came along the little sister of my dreams, Chloe. When she was about 2 years old our Mother fought and beat Breast Cancer but was told she would never be able to have children again…or so we thought. While I was away at my first year of college I got a call from my Parents and both of them were on the line(which is never good). They told me that they were having a baby and I was in complete shock...like, pacing up and down the stairs shocked! After I was done freaking out I realized that he is a true miracle. There was no reason he should have been conceived but there was a very important reason he was given to us.
As he grew we noticed he was exhibiting the first warning signs of Autistism and my Mother immediately sought out early intervention resources for him.We were very lucky because she's a Teacher and trained to notice these developmental signs early on. But some families aren't so lucky and don't even know what signs to look for. That's why groups like Autism Society Ventura County are so important! They help educate our local community on what the warning signs are and provide families with the resources to help their children. For decades there were children being misdiagnosed because there was so much about the Autism Spectrum that wasn't know. Now 1 in every 68 births shows an incidence of Autism, and it is 4 times more likely to occur in boys than girls. Chances are that you know at least one person on the Spectrum!
Everyone on the Spectrum is unique. There is no one set of characteristics that defines Autism as a whole. For example, tantrums are a often associated with Autism but not everyone on the Spectrum exhibits them. In Kenny's case he had more tantrums when he was non-verbal. He just got frustrated! Wouldn't you be too if all you wanted were french fries but these crazy people were trying to give you green beans. Now he has no problem telling us where he wants to go and what city he wants to go to. This kid is a talking machine thanks to his early intervention resources and having caregivers/family who encourage him to use speech. Seriously, this kid just doesn't stop!
Here is Kenny on Pirate Night on our Disney Cruise. My husband wore a fake mustache and Kenny loved the texture of it. Every time he looked at my husband he NEEDED to rub the mustache.
It's so important for people to understand that there is no "cure" for Autism (at least not yet!) but that it is 100% TREATABLE! People on the spectrum are having a much better quality of life because there are resources for themselves and their loved ones. They are going on to attend college, have careers and even start families of their own. That's our biggest hope for our Kenny Boy. We just want him to be independent and have the life that he dreams of having. We never want him to feel like his Autism prevented him from achieving his goals. And with all the resources that are available we know that this could be his reality. We love this little man so much and we still believe that he was brought to us for a reason. He makes us all better people and he make us such a close-knit family. There is nothing I would change about him. He has such a pure heart and he cares about EVERYONE. We need a whole more of that in our world today!