As April is right here, we should all be aware of Autism month. Every person that I meet and “what I do” comes up knows a someone with Autism. EVERY PERSON. Today I read that 1 in 110 Americans are born with Autism and 1 in 70 are boys. These figures are amazing and calling our attention whether we like it or not. Let today be the day that you become more aware. Involve your children and let them know of children with Autism, even if they don’t know anyone…. yet. Teaching them awareness is such a wonderful educational lesson. People with special needs are all around and they are usually amazing people with a lot of great qualities to share. A great way to teach your child EMPATHY is to show/model this for them in a natural and organic way. Carry groceries for an elderly neighbor, or someone who just needs help, recycle and explain why you are doing it, find volunteer opportunities and explain to your child you are doing this and not getting paid in dollars. Many children I have worked with when I was teaching, had these responses to questions about their parents working;
me: “where does your Mommy work”
child: “she is a Nurse”
me: “what does Mommy do at work?”
child:” Mommy goes to work to make money.”
Hmmmmm, this is a lesson that a child has learned that we work to get paid. Now of course this is true BUT in addition to making money a Nurse cares for sick people and people having babies etc. If you teach your child the world revolves around money, well then, they might have a pretty sad future. As we’ve all heard money does not buy happiness. I know there is never enough money to do EVERYthing I want and to buy everything (I think) I need.
Teach your child that happiness stems from our inner-selves. Reading a great book makes me feel happy, as does yoga, or painting a picture and framing it. I have been notoriously happy by building something like a bookshelf! This always reminds me of the children who are so happy when they build something in the block center.
In looking for guests to interview on my radio show, I have come across so many organizations that look for volunteers. I know there is “no time” for this. Well I beg to differ, some of these volunteer opportunities revolve around recreational activities and children! Imagine how good you will feel by getting involved with new people, (outside your social world) helping others and getting fresh air! Guaranteed happiness, for sure!
Here are some events going on during April is Autism Awareness Month
April 2nd – World Autism Day Wear Blue
April 21 FREE Developing Socialization Skills 6pm at Brooklyn Autism Center Register at Tcardenas@brooklynautismcenter.org
April 23 Adventureland in Farmingdale NY “A Special Night for Special Kids” Closed to the public.
April 24 Sesame Place – Autism Day
www.keennewyork.org – participate or volunteer -Recreational opportunities @ no cost.
Drama Therapy group for teens with Asbergers call 212 414 5105 Meets @ NYU after school.
www.SNACK.com\- Participate or volunteer – Yoga, music, art etc. Meets after school and weekends