I did not wear blue on April 2nd. I decided that wearing blue, sans any mention of autism, would simply go unnoticed. I am not the best spokesperson for autism. If someone suspected I was wearing blue for autism, and asked me if I were, I would simply affirm.
What else should one do? I am not terribly assertive in person.
If wearing blue is for awareness, what are we making people aware of? The fact of autism, that it exists? If someone does not know that, then they are ignoring media. How would a media campaign reach them when the news cannot?
I agree with the critics that the crisis that requires awareness is the lack of assistance and accommodation for autistic adults. Our kids are supposedly helped by laws in the schools and maintained by their parents, but our adults often have trouble getting and holding jobs, which means trouble with housing and just plain living. I also agree that this starts with acceptance.
I did not find any red shoes that I liked that were affordable. I have messed up feet. I like the idea, but much like wearing blue, I cannot see that it will affect anything or that many would notice. A flyer would do better.
I will not wear anything about autism that has a puzzle piece on it.
My son is not a mystery to be solved. He cannot be cured. He is not a puzzle. He is whole. He is a kid, like any other kid, with more quirks to him than most. He is a person. The puzzle piece thing pisses me off no end.
I am not saying that the whole world needs to speak literally and hush up and dim the lights to accommodate my son. I think if he could find a job where he could wear sunglasses and his earplugs that would be fantastic. If he could work in the fields he is interested in, his employer would be very happy and I suspect would accommodate him simply because his productivity would be through the roof. I think if people stopped making fun of or ostracizing those who are different, it would make the future look brighter for him and everyone else. How many differently abled people end up with mental illness for what they suffer with therapies or bullying or lack of acceptable basic housing or food or jobs? Employment is where we need the most help, employment and social services.
I want his basic human rights respected. He cannot do things the way his sister does, nor react like her. As my firstborn, he is normal to me. In fact, he and I are alike in some ways. I get him. I really know where he is coming from. So I don’t see anything wrong with him. It all makes sense to me.
I don’t know what to do for autism awareness or autism acceptance, though I am glad there is a day or a month dedicated to it. I do know that Autism Speaks will never speak for me. Their name is trashed, and I want nothing to do with them even if they start acting human. Too little, too late. How I wish their charity went to the current issues and not eradicating perfectly good people from the gene pool.
Does my son remember what his father said about him? Or why his father would beat him? Would wearing blue have changed anything? Would the message put out by Autism Speaks have motivated his father to accept his quirks and tantrums and sensory issues and commit to helping him learn coping skills via positive methods? I don’t think so. I think Autism Speaks would have seen his father as a victim, justified with their sympathy in any horrific reaction. My son is not a burden. He is a potential, like any kid.
My son is my son. He is fantastic. I don’t know what he would be like if he were not autistic. He would not be him.
Happy Autism Acceptance Month.