Today, April 2nd, is National Autism Awareness Day and I couldn't be more aware as my 3 year old son has autism.

He's like any traditional 3 year old boy. Super active, loves to play, loves ice cream. Y'know, he's 3. It's just he also happens to have autism. He sees things differently than most, he feels things differently than most. Both have major advantages and some disadvantages. For instance, the other day he didn't have much balance, like he as top-heavy (more clumsy than normal). After my wife took him to the doctor to get him checked out, it turned out he had an ear infection. Most of us would know this, but the pain didn't bother him. Same when he hits his head. He feels impact, but it doesn't register as pain so he just gets back up and carries on with his activity. Saying someone has 'autism' is like saying you're buying a 'candy bar'. There are thousands of types of candy bars as there are several types of autism.

My wife has the patience of a saint, helping him with his development during the day and he receives help from Children's Village. If you think your son or daughter has autism, Children's Village would be the first place I'd go. They're wonderful about helping. The different between Jaron's development between and and before we moved to Yakima are night and day.

So, sure, he is diagnosed as being autistic, but it doesn't define him. He's my buddy and has a smile that can light up a room.