On the Last Day of April
Today is the last day of April. That means it’s the last day of Autism Awareness Month. As many of you know, ExtraSpecialTeas’ founders, Scott and Cherri Sanes, have a son, our friend Jache, who started them on a journey that ultimately led them to open ExtraSpecialTeas. We hope you’ll read Scott’s words about unconditional love, acceptance, joy and life.
What is “special” about a “special needs person” is not always apparent. This is especially true for someone challenged by autism. When I try to explain why Jache is special to me….I tell parents to think about the day their child was born. Remember the feeling of immense love that poured out of you. You would throw yourself in front of a truck for that new born and you only just met them moments before.
As you cared for your baby, there was an unconditional love that only a new parent knows. Your baby might poop his diaper, vomit in your face, knock your favorite statue over…but you love, love, loved that baby.
As life goes on your baby grows, becomes independent and sets sail. For some of us, setting sail never comes. But that unconditional love we have for that child, that instinctive protective feeling, that stays too. I love my father more than I can express. He gifted me with love, support and a fabulous childhood. If I’m lucky, I see him a couple of times a year for a few days. My 26 year old son lights up each morning when I enter his room and gives me hundreds of hugs and kisses all day long. So who is better off? Neither…it’s just different.
Being the parent of a special needs son is filled with responsibility and yet filled with immense love. Today is the last day of “Autism Awareness Month.” When Jache was diagnosed 25 years ago he was 1-2,500 children on the spectrum. The CDC changed that number to 1 in 150 10 years ago, 1 in 88 seven years ago and 1 in 48 boys born in the USA last year. This epidemic needs awareness every month, every day.
Please be understanding and accepting of the children and people on the autism spectrum and the parents who love them all year long. Support medical research for prevention, treatment and even a cure for those with severe, disabling symptoms. Awareness is just a start. 💙