I did it. We walked the walk. You may have seen me and my husband walking down Main Street in Endwell today.
My husband and I decided to participate, and we are so glad we did. We ended up meeting up with, and speaking for a while to, an advocate we had not seen in many years. This woman helped another family member, one who lives locally, so tremendously. I've never thanked her properly (and I was so busy catching up with her, that I still didn't thank her!)
I saw her son, now a teenager. (he was a lot smaller the last time I saw him!) I saw the teenage son of another advocate who had helped us after the first advocate had gone on to another job. They grow so quickly. Time flies...
Yes, the emphasis was on children. Yes, there was someone selling "I Love a Child With Autism" T-Shirts.
To the parents wearing those shirts I would like to say this:
"I wish I had better news for you, but the struggle never ends. Sometimes it gets better. Sometimes it just gets different. Please, please, prepare for that day when your child or children grow up. Please, don't forget the child with autism. If you have other children, don't forget them, either. Please include them in your planning. Please communicate with them honestly. Because you will not be in the lives of your children with autism forever. But siblings will be forever."