Archive for August, 2009

Autism Around the World

August 21, 2009

So I was fortunate enough to do a bit of traveling earlier this month with my sister. We both visited Ireland for the first time and absolutely loved it. Most of our ancestry comes from there and we both just fell in love with the beautiful countryside and the friendly people there. Going there is definitely one of the highlights of my life thus far.

I certainly thought about my son all the time when I was over there. But I really tried hard to not think about autism a ton. I just thought about the normal things you’d miss when you’re not around your child….how cute he is, his little sayings, the things we do together, etc. I’ve learned though that it’s easier said than done to get some time to yourself and not be reminded of autism. I remember going to a Minnesota Vikings game last year and the first thing I heard over the loudspeakers as I approached the Metrodome was that they were collecting donations for an autism charity. The announcer said, “Did you know that 1 out of every 150 children have autism?” I had to laugh and mutter under my breath, “Yeah, I’m aware of that!”

Well wouldn’t you believe it that one of the first things I saw when stepping into the airport in Dublin was a sign about autism!



They had several donation points throughout their airport for Irish Autism Action. I was glad to see that apparently this was a charity of the year and that so much awareness was being brought to it. By the looks of it many of the collection points had quite a bit of euro in it so hopefully they’ll raise a lot of money.

I don’t know why it surprised me so much to see autism being mentioned in a foreign country. I guess a person can get so isolated here in the US and think that we’re the only ones dealing with autism. But it affects families regardless of what continent you’re on. From reading a bit on the Irish Autism Action website, it seems like there’s a good awareness and decent services in Ireland. But I’m sure like anywhere, things could be better and a lot probably depends on where you live in the country, just like here in the US.

I must be getting more used to this autism thing though, because a year or two ago, I probably would have had a weird reaction to hearing about autism when I’m trying to ‘relax.’ Nowadays though I just think about how much I love my son and how much I hope more people can be aware of autism.