Today is Autism Awareness Day and I have been thinking about my awesome nephew, Anthony, all day! He is one strong kiddo who has been through so much in his 9 years!
Summer of 2018, I was visiting my family in CA. One morning I was there, his little brother, Christian, came running in the house and said “Ghi Ghi, Anthony’s dead.” We ran out to find him unconscious on the trampoline. I immediately started praying, as my Dad got him to solid ground to start CPR. He continued trying to revive him until the ambulance arrived, which seemed like an eternity. I stayed with my younger nephew and my 3 kids (who were all so scared and praying fervently for Anthony), while my sister hopped in the ambulance. After they got him stabilized at the hospital I went to visit him (about an hour or 2 later). And when I walked in the room he smiled at me and asked me to sing “Jesus Loves Me” with him (video below). I remember so many emotions - being scared & so so thankful that God saved His life! This guy is such a fighter. After this, they found out that he not only has autism, but epilepsy too. We like to say his brainwaves are so strong that doctors study them.
I am so proud of him...things that come easily to other kids are sometimes a major challenge for him, yet he continues to push through and keep a positive attitude. He is really, really great at baseball and loves to play. I can see him going pro one day and being an inspiration to so many. His mama, my sister, is one strong warrior chic! She amazes me! I honestly don’t know how she does it some days. I pray for her all the time!
I wanted to share this because I know so many of us have someone in our lives who has autism & sometimes we don’t know how we can help.
This (below) is my sisters response when I asked her how friends can help families like hers:
Pray for them
Never leave a child with autism out of activities. Always invite them, even if you know they will decline.
Realize that a meltdown is not always bad behavior or bad parenting. It’s often over stimulation or a sign of having a hard time and not being able to communicate it properly .
A parent of a child with autism has a hard time talking about it, but it’s ok to ask how they are doing.
If you know someone who has been affected by what is often called the “invisible disease,” I hope this helps you know a few ways you can help.
To all our autistic friends - we love you, are cheering you on and praying for you! 🧩