Beyond Autism Awareness

 

It’s April. With the month of April comes “Autism Awareness” month. For those of you who are just catching up, we have a 5 year old daughter who is incredibly smart, beautiful, kind, and spunky. She also happens to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. We got her official medical diagnosis almost a year ago, and we’ve begun this bumpy, terrifying, yet incredible journey.

The purpose of this post is not to educate you about Autism, or explain the signs, causes, and treatments. What I really want is for everyone to think about this month as “Autism Acceptance”. And not just for Autism, but for everything and everyone who might be a bit different. It is easy to be aware of C’s differences, but to accept them? That’s a whole other beast.

I’ve accepted that we will never be a “normal” family. Outings, vacations, even trips to the grocery require extreme planning. I often have a babysitter or my mom in tow because during a melt down things turn tragic quickly and evacuating with two child often requires two adults. I’ve learned to accept we will have good days and awful days. I celebrate the tiny victories on the good days, and use the bad days as a learning experience. I’ve accepted that I will never be the perfect mom and will continue to make mistakes along the way.

I’ve accepted that people are assholes. No matter how much I educate someone about autism, they still may not accept that autism is a “real thing”. People are ALWAYS going to judge. People are ALWAYS going to say things that piss me off. I’ve learned to move on. Their loss, not mine.

Lastly, I’ve accepted that C is different, but not less of person. She is smart and capable of learning so much. She’s the kind of kid that is more interested in the inchworm on the sidewalk rather than greeting her classmates at school. She loves to touch, smell, and sometimes lick, everything in sight. She has memorized almost every Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks movie, line by line. She can’t always verbally articulate how she’s feeling, but she comes up with the most interesting ways to convey her emotions and feelings. So yes, she’s “different”, but she’s amazing. If you can take a few minutes to see past someone’s “differences”, maybe you’ll find that they are a pretty incredible too.

Shout out to Nancy Hodari and Equilibrium in Michigan from my family in Connecticut: Thanks for supporting the Michigan Shines for Autism Gala, April 29th, 2017. To my peeps in Detroit get your tickets here: Autism Awareness Gala

Martina Sprague
Certified Stott Pilates Instructor
Owner: Balanced Pilates

Martina is back!

Introduction 2.0

For the 7 people who have actually followed this blog over the past few years, I’m baaaack!!! My life has changed a bit since my last post. My original bio reads as follows:

“30ish, married, one daughter, one husband, one dog, certifying in pilates, helps nancy run equilibrium by doing all the stuff nancy doesn’t like doing. sassy and genetically opinionated. more about her mother later.”

Well, I’m closer to 40 than 30. I have TWO kids, one of which is almost a “threenager”. The other is almost six and has autism spectrum disorder. We moved to the east coast, which means I no longer work for Nancy. I certified in Pilates and have been happily teaching. We built a house. Still have the same husband. Still have the same dog. Still genetically opinionated, but I’ve learned to drop my judgements. Oh, and did I mention my mom almost died? The key word being “almost”. Fortunately, she’s still feisty as ever and an even bigger pain in my ass. Let’s just say our journey has been tiresome, lonely, educational, and amazing all at once. (And my neighbors wonder why I get wine delivered to my house?! ) I’m still the same Martina, just a little older and a tiny bit wiser with a few more wrinkles. Looking forward to sharing our not-so-normal adventures with you!

Martina Sprague
Certified Stott Pilates Instructor
Owner: Balanced Pilates