Fighting the fight

So, I have this friend. I haven’t known her for very long, only a year or two, but our lives intersect in all sorts of ways. She’s an Atlanta mom, a writer and critique partner and agent buddy, a Southern girl at heart. In her own words, a Warrior Mama.

I’d known her for about five minutes when she told me about her cause, Myles-A-Part, an organization she founded to help families like hers, families living with Autism. Her son was diagnosed when he was two. He’s one of the 54 boys in America diagnosed each year — a terrifying statistic, mostly because we don’t know where these numbers are coming from.

According to the CDC, more people than ever before are being diagnosed with Autism. Why? Broader definitions and better diagnoses, certainly, but beyond those factors, actual numbers are on the climb. We don’t know all the causes and risk factors, what perfect storm of environmental, biological, and genetic factors combine to make a child more likely to develop Autism, and much more medical research is needed in order to solve the mystery. Though there is treatment, there is no known cure.

But there is help, and there’s hope.

April is Autism Awareness month, a whole month to educate the public and raise awareness about Autism, to point families to one of the many organizations that can help them, and Warrior Mama is doing her part. On top of promoting her upcoming books and writing the next one, on top of taking care of her son and running a household and her foundation, she’s also blowing up the internet. Modern Mom. Her blog and a zillion others. Twitter and Facebook. Take a minute to read her story, if you get a chance. I think you’ll like her just as much as I do. And if you or someone you know needs help, she can certainly point you the way.

Oh, and those books I mentioned? I’ve read them. They’re fabulous. Go preorder them today. Because for every single one of them she sells, she’s donating 25% of her personal royalties to helping families living with Autism.

Warrior Mama said she never got the woe is me memo that comes with such a diagnosis, and I believe her. That girl is a fighter, and she’s out there on the front line, for both her son and the cause. And starting this month, I will join her.

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About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KimberlyBelleBooks), Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at www.kimberlybellebooks.com.

Posted on April 4, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. It’s the Warrior Moms who get things done! I’m wearing my blue all month. Thanks, Kimberly, for providing the links.

  2. Amen, Tracy! We mothers are a mighty force. Thanks for reading!

  3. What a wonderful thing she is doing to spread the word, and what a great friend you are, Kimberly, to help her in her cause. I’m headed there now to read on!

  4. Kimberly, kudos to your friend for all she does, not only at home, but to raise awareness of autism. I’m heading over to check out those links. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. 🙂

  5. Wow. Please keep your “terror” comments away from my really awesome autistic son. We don’t need more campaigns that propagate fear and loathing of autistic people. Thank you.

  6. Do you know what it sounds like to an actual Autistic person when they read autism described as “terrifying”? (I’ll give you a hint: remember, you’re talking about THEM).

    If you want to know how it feels, please ask. I am an Autistic person. When I read your descriptive word, “terrifying” it felt awful. That’s me you’re describing.

    In fairness, I get it, you think that you are doing this really awesome thing by sharing autism stat and information during April for this “great cause.” And I can appreciate the gesture to a certain degree. Intent has has it’s place and limits.

    Please be responsible when sharing information about my life and the lives of my friends and other autistic people. Please take the time to choose words that show respect for our humanity.

    Autistic people are real. We are born, We grow up. We exist. We aren’t a “terrifying statistic.”

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