World Autism Awareness Day

EEEEEEK, I haven't posted since Christmas.  Ouch.


Today I sent out this email to my autism support group members and realized it kinda sounded a little like a blog post. Go figure.   So here goes.


No one asked for my two cents.  They usually don't but they get it anyway.  So here goes.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.  That's awesome, but for us, every day is "autism awareness day."  What *IS* important about the UN recognizing autism as a "world" day is that it "shines a light" (pun intended) on autism.   I'm sure you've all read the CDC report by now that the rate of autism is at 1 in 88.  The scariest part of that report is that it was based on data from 2008.   And yet EVERY SINGLE DAY I get asked "What is autism?"

Is fundraising important?  Yes.
Is research important?  Yes.
Is finding solutions important?  Yes.
Is finding answers important?  Yes. 
Is providing help, support, and services important?  Yes, yes, YES!

But-- it STARTS with awareness.  Here's why.   When you become AWARE you ask questions.  When you ask questions you learn the answers.  When you learn more, you want to KNOW more.  And when you KNOW more you want to help more.  Why would ANYONE want to donate money to a cause they don't even know what it's for?  Why would anyone want to fund research for a problem they don't know exists?  Who cares about solutions they don't even know are needed?  Who wants to provide help and support for families they don't even know what they are up against?  I'm just trying to keep it real.  We KNOW what cancer is.  We KNOW what it looks like.  We know about AIDS and diabetes and downs syndrome.  And yet MORE kids are diagnosed with autism than ANY OTHER OF THOSE COMBINED.  COMBINED.  And I still get asked EVERY DAY "what is autism?"  

That scares me.

This is why-- your blue lightbulb is important this month.  This is why wearing your blue shirt is important.  This is why wearing your puzzle piece is important.  This is why having a magnet on your car is important.  This is why your facebook status is important.  This is why your twitter updates count.  Susan G. Komen didn't "own" the color pink.  She took it over.  Breast cancer took it over.  You don't see a pink ribbon and NOT know what it's for.  In October EVERYTHING is pink.  Freaking MUSHROOMS have pink labels.  Batteries.  MONKEY BUTT POWDER (I am not making that up people it was at Walgreens)  EVERYTHING IS PINK IN OCTOBER.  But it wasn't always.  It took Susan G. YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS of ONE PERSON AT A TIME wearing pink.  Using pink.  

I want blue labels on mushrooms.  I want blue monkey butt powder.  I want EVERYONE to see the color blue and think of autism.  Really, I just want people to think about autism.  Period.

OK that's my soap box about making a difference.  You DO make a difference.  Every family who has a blue lightbulb on their porch MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  Those of you wearing your puzzles -- YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  Start a conversation.  I PRAY someone asks you "why in the sam hell do you have blue lightbulbs on  your porch?"  ANSWER THEM.  WITH PRIDE.

Now, let's get inspired here.  Cuz it's also kind of a hard day too.  I'm going to type here 3 words that are not mine.  I cannot think of anything more inspiring when it comes to autism.

Different.  Not Less.

When you want to give up, when you want to LOSE IT, when you want to trade your kids in, when you want to run away, when you want to cry (go ahead, that one is allowed), remember that our babies are different, but they are not less.  And when you start to doubt it, say it over and over and over and and over again in your head.  Just like Eustacia Cutler said it about her beautiful daughter Temple Grandin.   Temple Grandin who was so severely autistic they wanted to lock her up in a mental institution.  Temple Grandin who grew up to REVOLUTIONIZE the cattle industry.  Not change it, REVOLUTIONIZE it.   Not because she's a savant (although Temple is mad crazy smart) but because she has autism.  And that autism allowed her to look at something in a DIFFERENT way.  Today Temple has more PhDs than I know of.  She tours the world speaking about autism.  She tours the world speaking about cattle.  She's somewhere in her 60's.  She's so inspiring.  Guess what?  She still has autism.  She still struggles with many of the things our babies struggle with.  So today, look at your babies in a different way.  

This 2 minute promo gives me chills.   Watch it.   

And while you're at it, pat YOURSELF on the back.  Show your pride today not just for your babies, but for YOU too.....the mama and daddy warriors fighting the good fight.  And remember -- you are not alone!

Comments

  1. Thought you'd be interested in this book on Natural Treatment for Autism:


    http://www.amazon.com/Gut-Psychology-Syndrome-Depression-Schizophrenia/dp/0954852028/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337045057&sr=1-1

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's written by Natasha Campbell-McBride

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.picklemetoo.com/2011/11/17/our-journey-with-autism/

    ReplyDelete
  4. "This story, Prayer for my Son, is full of promise and faith of a young mother who chose against all odds to believe in something that she knew but could not see yet. Jordan is still walking out his healing. It is an ongoing miracle but I have to tell you it is a miracle, period. It is the hand of a loving heavenly Father who has come down and is still coming to bring healing to a special young man of God."

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prayer-for-my-
    son-elizabeth-gan/1109862252?ean=9780985364205

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Part two, in which I tattoo the word THRIVE on my body

Why I don't give a $h!t about Thanksgving

And I think it's going to be a long, long time.