Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘White House

The Flow of Awareness

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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

Can we count this?

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Blue Fountain, White House

A friend sent me this yesterday.  The south side of The White House is currently boasting a blue fountain.  Can we count it?

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 4, 2011 at 8:19 am

Lighting It Up Blue at The White House

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We joined a little late, but we were there to ask The President to Light It Up Blue.  The White House is still white, but one day it will be blue.  Awareness takes time.  Two years ago we had no idea that Pudding would be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.  Last year on this day I tentatively updated my Facebook status and started to talking to everyone I knew about autism and how it had affected our lives.  A few months later I began writing this blog, and started telling everyone I didn’t know about autism in our lives.  It seemed fitting that we should be there.

One day I HOPE The President will CHANGE his lights to blue.  I hope he will shine a light on autism and raise awareness in a way that all the bloggers in the world together could never achieve.  For those of us who live and breathe, and talk and write about autism every day, awareness seems so unnecessary.  A blue light seems so redundant.  Then I think about the teenager who is bullied and ostracized because she is different, a man who is starting to understand why he finds it so hard to hold down a job, the child who can’t make friends, the mother who has never been called “mama” by her child, the soldier away at war fighting a battle on two fronts.  For those who have gone before us, those on the journey with us, and those who will join us one day, a blue light is so necessary.

More than anything I think of the mother I was two years ago, then one year ago, then today.  How much it would have helped to have seen a blue light shining.  To know there was someone nearby who gets it.  We wanted The President to light it up blue for everybody to see.  Our family won’t be here next year to ask him, but we will be lighting up our corner of the world.

At the end of the month, Jess will act as our emissary to The White House.  She won’t be alone.  The 565 of us who commented on her campaign to get The President to light The White House blue will be there in spirit.  If anyone can get this done, she will.  Awareness takes time.  It might take until the end of the month to get The White House blue, or it might take another year, it might even take longer, but it WILL happen.

The White House will be blue.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm