Light it Up Blue for Autism. I haven't done a post on Autism in a long time.
My son is now 15 years old and a sophomore in High School . He wasn't diagnosed until he was in 7th grade. So, we as a family are relative new to the autism community. However, we are well past the awareness stage. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is part of our family. We were embracing Autism's reality long before it was a label our son had.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent my evening at a seminar/panel discussion on Understanding Behavior. There were experts there on Applied Behavior Analysts (ABA) . At the end of the session, we all stood in a circle and said the name of the child we were there for. It was very powerful. I guarantee that each and everyone one of us in that circle wanted more than awareness for our children. I stood in this circle of parents and I was keenly aware how much we wanted recognition, inclusion and acceptance for our kids.
Awareness is not enough. New statistics are out and 1 in 68 children are on the spectrum. So chances are statistically speaking, you know someone on the spectrum. This booming population is going to need community.
Like a bell on a quiet night, I feel parents need to hear this most: we just
want to connect children with the resources they need to thrive at home and at
school and throughout their lives. Doesn’t matter what we call it, we want
children of all backgrounds, of all resources, and all opportunity to be
afforded the chance for a connected, lovely life. As a realist of course, I do
know that numbers matter because it changes how we screen, how we advocate for
children, how we move funds and resources, and how we ensure children get what
we need. Numbers help activate. - Seattle Mama Doc
To be honest, I think we have had autism awareness months for enough time now. We have spread much awareness through local activities and the media. I really wish we could rename this month "autism acceptance month", and focus attention on doing an act of companionship; something in your local community to communicate acceptance and companionship. Whet...her that be a sensory friendly movie day at the local theater, a diversity party at school, a showcase of talents displayed at school, an acceptance play at the local theater, or any display of true acceptance such as volunteering for special event days, or simply showcasing businesses that make accommodations for employees or set up a special support services for inclusion in the community. Even promoting peer mentors and reaching out with play dates at local parks. Actual acts of companionship that reaches out and touches both young and old on the spectrum. I know from experience that a physical act of companionship can establish not just awareness but acceptance.- Autism Discussion Page Facebook
I won't be lighting it up blue but only because I am too busy fighting for more than awareness. I have stood in the circle and I want more for my child than just awareness.
Some more links for thought
I really liked Floor Pie blog post Episodes of Inclusion