Monday, April 1, 2013

Light It Blue

Today is "Light it Blue for Autism" and I think it is a wonderful time to focus on awareness and acceptance.  As the numbers increase to about 1 in 50, I really believe that it goes beyond just being aware.  We need to accept these beautiful children and adults as a very significant part of our society!

Last week, I attended a high school play in our community.  It was the high school from where we used to live and was almost where my kids attended.  They were performing "Once Upon a Mattress" which is such a fun and cute play! I was very excited to attend.

Part way through the play, as we were introduced to Dauntless, the main character who is also a big momma's boy.  I noticed that the boy was playing the part as though he had autism. He flapped his hands, spun in circles, skipped on stage and missed every high five he tried to give.  He spoke with a lisp and just acted like something was wrong with him.  It was appalling.

The next day, I called the school, to talk to the administration.  I wasn't sure if they had seen the play and I thought they should be aware.  I spoke with the assistant principal and he had seen the play, was defensive of the boy's interpretation and told me I was being too sensitive.

The saddest part of my whole experience with this is that it taught me how far our society has to go to accepting my child and all the others who seem a bit different in our world.  It is seen as something to make fun of rather than to embrace.  And even if this had not been the intention of the boy playing the part (which I truly do believe he wasn't intentionally being offensive), it could have been handled better when I called.   And if a teenager is going to not see how offensive it is, where were the adults in all of this?  I told the administrator that this could be a great educational opportunity for these kids, but he did not see it in the same way.  It made me very sad.

I can't change everyone's perception and actions and words and attitudes, but I can share our story.  I can tell people about my beautiful boy who does odd things in public but has a heart of gold!  He can throw some pretty crazy tantrums when we're out and about, but it isn't because he is spoiled.  He bangs his head when he gets upset, he covers his ears when noises are too loud, his speech is very delayed and would be easy to mimic or point at.  He hates socks and wears shoes that are more comfortable than fashionable.  He chews on this shirts which puts holes in them.

BUT, he gives the most fantastic hugs.  He loves to have his picture taken and will pose on the drop of a dime.  He loves everyone he meets and always has a smile ready.  He works so hard, harder than anyone I've ever  met to just communicate a simple question.  He loves everything Angry Birds.  And  I love him with all my heart.  It is my greatest desire that the world can see past his oddities and love him too.

See him smiling (the one in the green shirt!)  Isn't he a doll?

And it isn't just him or because I am his mom.  I love all the kids he goes to school with!  I know some of the most amazing kids on this planet--and some of them have autism!  They are bright and sweet and full of love (even when they can't show it like we expect them too).  

And for anyone reading this, who is also on the journey of Autism, I send you a high five!  It isn't easy and it can be a ton of work, but isn't it an amazing experience too?

So light it blue for Autism as we all try to do our part to bring awareness and acceptance!

Here is today's freebie:

**Link has Expired


mammafishy said...

What a touching story...there is nothing greater than a mother's love for her children! Thank you for trying to make a difference in this world and fighting for those who can't. Love your 'light it blue for Autism' tag! Thank you so much!!

marsie55 said...

My nephew is autustic and has severe language disorder .. he will mimic any word you say, but he doesn't understand any except the most basic! But at least now he can tell us when he hurts, when he is hungry or thirsty! He taught himself to go to the toilet .. how amazing is that?? I don't have children myself, but I looked after Josh 3 days & 2 night a week from when he was 6 months old til he went to school. I travelled 45mins each way for 3 days a week when he started kindy .. he is my son too!! He is 15 yrs old now, and will never drive, or have the "normal" experiences, but he is the happiest person I know; and he has taught us all so much more than we have taught him!! He is (like most autistic boys) extremely handsome, and looks "normal" so it makes it hard for people to realise he has a harder road than most of us. I am so proud of him! I wouldn't swap him for the world .. despite all the challenges and hard times, I think we are all very lucky to be given these very special kids. Good luck on your journey :) Oh, and thank you so much for today's download!

Dolores said...

Thank you for shating your story, Ramona. We certainly do have a long way to go when even school administrators don't get it. Katie the Scrapbook Lady also had a great blog post today

And thanks for the DL, too!

Monkey Toes Too said...

How appalling that adults can see what is in front of their faces. Thank you for todays dl.

Crystalnva said...