About World Autism Awareness Day

Posted: April 2, 2016 in Community, Family
Tags: , , ,
newyearThis is something my wife Anne wrote today…..I wanted to share it with you because it means so much to me….
About World Autism Awareness Day.
      It’s World Autism Awareness Day. I could write chapters about my feelings and experiences. Books really – about how it feels as a parent of an incredible 22 year old young man , a teacher working with students who HAVE ASD and an individual living on the spectrum herself. But I won’t . I’ll keep it sort of short. I know that because of all the publicity which I’ve received recently in print and on the radio , you think I’ ve said it all and I have share many things – minus a few details which I am about to .
      You know what ? I hope that one day, I don’t have to go in to work , and try to ‘convince’ some of my colleagues and individuals that some of their students HAVE ASD. I know it doesn’t matter probably, but I really wish that people would stop looking at us and think : but you don’t ‘look’ like you have autism …. and judge us. It’s most often an explanation – yet we’re often told that we use the diagnosis as an excuse. I have to put it out there: I won’t judge if you have a stroke and can’t speak clearly. I won’t question if you need physical supports like a wheel chair. I’ll even honour your dietary restrictions if you come over for supper: so please – please – please – if you could return the ‘courtesy’ and not tell my son, my students, and all individuals on the spectrum that we’re faking our symptoms – and that we’re ok and to get over it when we tell you that we need your support – that would go a long way …. Truth is , we don’t want to be different. Trust me – I didn’t go and actively search for autism – I just happen to have it. My son just happens to be a most wonderful human being – living with autism. And my students are just trying to make their own way in the world. We want to have friends. Live. Love. Go to school and perhaps even hold that dream job that you are also working towards obtaining … Does that make sense ? It’s so simple – yet in our society, we still need a month to make people ‘aware’ that we’re out there. Like we all are, by the way. Everybody has his story. Who really isn’t out there, trying to make it the best way that they know how – every day ? We’re getting there … It’s going to happen. And I smile and thank those who are on my journey – helping me. Loving me.
      Will I wear blue today ? I’m not sure – it depends on how I feel later on this morning. Truth is that I didn’t sleep well last night and exhaustion will likely keep me hiding in my River House refuge all day. But I encourage you to do so – if that’s what you want to do … We all need ‘awareness’. As a parent, a teacher and an individual with ASD: I have a dream
      Autism Awareness. Acceptance. and Inclusion. Not just today. Every day .
Have a beautiful day …. and to those who make a difference in our lives , and allow me to reciprocate: thank you.
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