April is Autism Awareness month. My younger boy has a form of autism known as PDD-NOS. He was first diagnosed through the school district at around age 4, and he has been receiving services since then. His progress is cyclical--the beginning of this school year was hard, for example, but by now his behavior and work has evened out and he is largely happy and excited about school and his activities (theater, music, and taekwondo). Every April I make a page about his journey with autism. Here's a page I made to celebrate his talents:
I started making the list myself and then asked him to supplement. That's how it ended up having talents like "speed eating" and the specific details about Stratego and Minecraft. I'm glad I invited him to participate in this record of his strengths. It showed him how much I recognize and admire his talents. Mind you, these are not going-to-be-a-professional-skateboarder talents, but he has fun skateboarding and playing basketball, so they make him rad.
So much time is spent building strengths upon his weaknesses because of his autism (and this should happen--he needs to learn how to function socially in society, and he is so bright, he will be able to contribute vastly when he learns to), I believe I must remind him that his strengths are there. There is no one in the world like Dominic, and he is a wonderful, funny, enthusiastic boy. Though he has autism, that is not the only thing that defines him. This page is a look at some other things that make him unique--and totally rad.