The fight against Autism

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This morning was the second day of school for Ethan, who’s beginning life as a second grader.

It was a sad morning for me.

Apparently, my nearly three-year-old custom of walking him all the way into class, then, a little later, just outside the door, then last year, walking him just inside the front door has ended.

He’s a big boy now, it seems, and he gets out of my Buick in the car line and walks into school alone.

Daddy, he says, “can go to work now.”

They grow up fast, don’t they?

This wouldn’t be a big deal to most parents, whose children have long since been running through the car line. But for our family, every step in Ethan’s journey through life is one to celebrate.

It’s not just because he lives with Autism. It’s the fact that, together with the help of his family, teachers, doctors and specialists – and a ton of hard work on his part – Ethan has already exceeded the expectations that his diagnosers had for him.

They said he wouldn’t ever read.

They said he may never speak.

I remember how I felt that day, watching my little boy sit on the floor and play with blocks while people I didn’t know carpet bombed my world. It was a little like a dream, where you’re kind of floating a few feet above yourself, trying to intervene.

We’re a long, long way from that.

What we’re not a long way from is beating Autism.

I’ve learned that, as far as Autism goes, we’re among the lucky ones. Trust me, it takes a dramatic shift of perspective to reach that plane of thought.

Call me greedy, but I’m still looking to wipe Autism off the face of the earth.

Enter the Autism Society of North Carolina.

The 2009 Triangle Run/Walk for Autism is set for Oct. 10 at Moore Square in Raleigh. Join us for the 5K run or walk.

I’ll be walking, thank you very much.

Or, just donate $5.

You can buy a handful of bracelets for that, and those little pieces of rubber – like the one I wear – are great conversation starters for people who are curious about what Autism means past the “Rainman” stereotypes.

Make a difference.

Donate today.

https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=307405&lis=1&kntae307405=09E2249D790D46CC8C008CE55DCC43FA&supId=258683893

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