Feeling Blue? It’s all too easy focus on the difficulties, the drama, the failings of autism - the system, the expenses and the exhaustion. But, in honor of World Autism Awareness Day and Light it Up Blue on April 2 - I’d like to paint a rosier shade of blue, more akin to the purple that I adore. Besides, that’s how I roll: don’t cry me a river; instead, light up a spectrum. Light it up Blue!
I live in a state that doesn’t provide autism care; every service must be fought for, burdening our family with financial and emotional struggle.
But…I give thanks that we live in the U.S.*, where the following is true:
My child was born in this time when basic human rights are honored.
He may live at home and enjoy our healthy family life, with traditions and love. We support him, teach him.
He is given the option for inclusion with typical peers: in school, in sports, in extracurricular activities.
He is cared for by professionals who have years of education, certifications, must continue to re-educate, re-certify, stay current with treatment modalities.
Today’s mental health studies are humane and based on therapeutic progress; not torture or medical experimentation of not-so-distant history.
He is protected from bullies by laws which get more stringent day by day.
Discriminating, degrading words like the “R” word (Retard), Crazy, Insane, Mental, Wacky are discouraged.
Criminal and employment background checks are required for staff working with my son.
Safety information, devices and systems are being developed and deployed to save our autistic wanderers, a daily threat to many families.
Therapeutic products are widely accessible and fairly affordable.
Parents and siblings can seek support services and respite care. Public and private organizations strive to help.
My child can freely wear his label on a button, t-shirt, bumper sticker. He can author a blog, wave a banner proudly, star in the media. He can participate in a support group, fundraiser, or association. So can family, friends, teachers, supporters.
I’m proud of my Autistic son.
Wear it Loud,
Wear it Proud!!!!
*Today: President Obama officially proclaims April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day! http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/01/presidential-proclamation-world-autism-awareness-day
“I have Autism Please have patience” button: http://www.cafepress.com/+helloautism_boy2_225_button,252981895