April is Autism Awareness Month
The phrase “Autism Awareness and Acceptance” can elicit many feelings, and today, I would challenge us all to consider what it truly means.
AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE IS TO BE OPEN, TO BE COMPASSIONATE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, TO BE KIND.
Give a smile to the mom in the grocery store whose child is throwing a tantrum over the candy bar that she’s so desperately managing to keep him from. Invite the child with autism to your child’s birthday party and make sure that those parents know that their child is genuinely welcome—whether it be for five minutes, for an hour or maybe hopefully, the entire time. If a child falls apart in your presence, ask that parent, “what can I do to make this better for you?”
Ask questions. Reserve judgment. Don’t assume you know more than you do.
Give your friend a hug or the squeeze of your hand when their child has the bravery to make it through a school performance. Be there for her with a shoulder to lean on, in her isolation, when he does not. Teach your children about inclusion, that it is not merely a concept or an accommodation but a lesson in how we treat others. It is a horrible feeling to be excluded and there are gifts of friendship to be found in all of us. Acceptance is not simply to tolerate one another but to value our differences and to recognize the strengths that lie within all people.
EVERYBODY HAS DIFFERENCES. ALL PEOPLE MATTER.
Work harder to reach out. Be kind. Teach your kids about the act of kindness and that kindness benefits everybody. Know that kindness needs to be taught and continuously reinforced. Be proactive to affect change. Imagine what you would want if the tables were turned. Stand up for the rights of all people, whether your child is “neurotypical,” “quirky,” “special needs,” “disabled,” "different,” or any label. A label does not even begin to tell the whole story about a child, their family or, their strength, abilities and love
"Lift Up Autism" Event
On September 23, we will be joining other CrossFit boxes from around the globe in hosting a "competition for a cause" specifically sought to support early diagnosis and treatment of Autism, raise funds for the Autism Tree Project Foundation, and most importantly, turn a global spotlight on the measured and severe impact of Autism on families and individuals around the world. The workout is challenging but accessible and scaling options will be made to accommodate athletes of all abilities and experience levels.
At Bainbridge Island CrossFit, we want to provide the opportunity for people of all abilities to exercise, achieve more than they ever thought possible, and be part of a supportive and encouraging community.