I look back on the year between when I last blogged about Autism Awareness month and this post, and I think of some of seemingly little things I have accomplished, and the major things my son has accomplished.

Raymond has friends that he asks to play with daily.

Our play group is up to 30 families.

Raymond has started to self advocate by telling us what input he needs.

I went to Capitol Hill and advocated for Raymond.

Raymond is in a typical kindergarten classroom. (Major goal met!)

It blows my mind that so much could happen so fast. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in my home office trying to figure out how to engage people on this subject. It turns out that all I had to do was start talking to people, letting them know how things worked with these folks and that they can be helped. People on the spectrum all have a story and every one of them is compelling.

I think also about some of the benefits that are coming to our community as a result of the work of many other folks. I have been lucky enough to be invited to participate in some of them, and for that I am thankful.

The Autism Society of Northern Virginia has expanded into Fredericksburg.

Commonwealth Autism Services helped start the Fredericksburg Regional Autism Action Group. (more on that in another post!)

We made the calls and sent the emails to keep waiver services alive and well in the Commonwealth.

We helped push the Keeping All Students Safe Act through the House of Representatives.

So for my celebration, I’m just going to keep talking. I understand the hoopla over “lighting it up blue” but for me nothing works better than the sound of my son’s voice. I’ll keep talking for him until he’s old enough to do it himself. I hope all the parents out there do the same.

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