Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Autism Awareness Month

Spectrummy Mummy to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers’: #AutismPositivity2012

with 11 comments


Dear “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”,

As I’m sitting here wondering what to write to you, I can’t help but smile at the contrast with my own Aspie.  Pudding is just five, and she is twirling in front of a mirror saying, “two Puddings.”  In her mind, the only thing better than Pudding, is there being more than one of her.  How right she is.

I wonder if things will change, if she will change.  If she views the many ways she is unique as a burden, rather than a blessing.  If there will ever be a time she types, “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers” into a search engine, just like you did.  If she does, I’ll feel like I lost.

I’ll feel like I lost my chance to show her all the many ways the world is a better place because she is who she is.

I’m not diagnosed with Asperger’s.  I’ve never experienced the many ways your life is profoundly more difficult than mine.  But others have.  They’ve experienced a lifetime of misunderstanding, ridicule, humiliation, and even abuse, and have taken it upon themselves to change things.  Because they know they don’t need to change, but the world does.

There have been some victories- efforts that have resulted in greater understanding, support and inclusion.  But there is a way to go.  Advocates and their allies are pressing on for greater awareness of alternative communication methods, sensory processing differences, the need for improved housing, education and support for autistic individuals throughout the lifespan.

You have to know that you are worth these efforts.  You have to know that the world is changing because of an incredible community that you are part of, because you have Asperger’s.  You are not alone.

The next time someone googles “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”, they’re going to find a whole community of support waiting for them.  Because of you.

The only thing better than you, is more than one of you.  Just ask my girl.

____________


For the last day of Autism Awareness Month, I’m taking part in the Autism Positivity Day Flash Blog event.  This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue.  You can find out more by clicking >here<.  

Please like, retweet, email, and generally share this amazing effort to raise awareness about the supportive and encouraging side of our community.

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Wordless Wednesday 13 Apr 11

with 13 comments

Keeping it blue.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 13, 2011 at 6:42 am

The Flow of Awareness

with 4 comments

It starts with a drop, which turns into a trickle, which becomes a stream, and then a flood of awareness.

My own journey to awareness started like that.  With a drop of realizing that Pudding communicating differently to her friend, to a flood of life-changing diagnosis.  But that was just my awareness.  That was never going to be enough.  I’m just a drop.  I talked here about how I’d tentatively, nervously updated my Facebook status.  A trickle of people knew about Pudding’s autism.  Then I began a blog, and it turned into a stream.  I talked to everyone I know, and everyone who reads here about autism.  But it doesn’t go far enough.

This is the month for awareness.  Everybody is sick of April already.  You all know autism.  Some of you know Pudding.  You wouldn’t be reading this without awareness.  Bloggers are sick of raising awareness.  They write about it ad nauseum.  They live autism.  They’ve raised awareness in everyone they know.  The stream stops there.  It stops flowing, it becomes stagnant.

When everyone we know has awareness, we need to keep flowing out to everyone we don’t know.  Because once upon a time, we were just a drop, and we were sustained by that same current.  It is hard to imagine there was a time when we weren’t aware, but for me this wasn’t even a long time ago.  This was why it was so important for our voices to be heard by Parents magazine.  Today, my post was published on their site.  All month long we are taking our stories to a new audience, displaying both the diversity of the autism spectrum, and the experiences of the families living with autism.  Spreading awareness, reaching out.  We still need to go further.

We need a flood.

That is where you come in, dear reader.

If you are a blogger, get out of your stream.  Write a post aimed at readers not personally touched by autism, and share it.  Parents Magazine is still accepting submissions.  I know many of you have reservations about that, so find another outlet.  Write a letter to a local newspaper, or post on  a non-autism site.  Link up a photo that encapsulates your life with autism, and link up for a Wordless Wednesday.  Here is the tough part.  Tell everyone you know to share it.

If you are not a blogger, or a writer, or even not personally touched by autism: share it.  Take one of the Voices of Autism posts, or any other blog post about autism that you like and “like it”, tweet it, email it.  Tell your friends and colleagues to read it, for Autism Awareness Month.  You’ll become a trickle of your own.

How do I know?  This isn’t my idea.  My friend S. who I knew from Luxembourg asked if she could email one of my posts to her colleagues.  I’d just been waiting here for people to come to me to read my story, content enough with floating where I am.  She inspired me to keep up the flow by beginning her own trickle.  For the rest of this month, I’m going to get out of my comfort zone.  I’m going to ask everyone I know to do this for me.  I personally find that more difficult than standing in front of The White House wearing blue.

To keep the flow of awareness going this month, we need a flood.  It starts with you.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm