Tonight, my son Ethan will join several other students from his school district to speak on a panel to teachers, administrators, parents and other members of our community. I am very excited, proud (and just a slight bit nervous) about the event. Ethan loves the spotlight, so I know that he will enjoy speaking to everyone about how Asperger’s Syndrome impacts his life. This panel is the brainchild of our school district’s lead In-Home/Parent Trainer. I love that she asked herself, “Who better to learn about 'Autism Awareness' than from the students who live with it every day?” Simply brilliant! I shared an invitation with friends, family, neighbors, therapists, Ethan’s teachers & doctors and other local parents raising children with ASD. I’ve been very touched by the interest level and number of people taking time out of their evening to come learn more from Ethan and his panel mates.
Ethan and I have worked together over the past several days to review a set of prepared questions (for which Ethan dictated answers and I typed as quickly as I could). Most of his answers were just about what I expected them to be. Further, most of them were painfully short (so I gently prodded for additional details). However, I was surprised when Ethan more or less chose (respectfully) not to answer a question; he said it was “too personal.” Wow. Too personal? This from my little guy who has been such an open book with teachers and classmates (strangers in the grocery store even) about how autism and Asperger’s affect him?