Monday, April 1, 2013

What Is The Point Of Going Blue For Autism?

I might lose friends over this post, but I'm ok with that. It's Autism Awareness Month. I'm so glad you're "aware" and gee, thanks for wearing a blue shirt tomorrow. But what I want to know is...what could you DO about it? Wearing a blue shirt is nice and all, but I promise you that does absolutely nothing for the family who is struggling. Now I'm not suggesting that you drop everything to become a special needs teacher! I can only speak for myself, but things I would have appreciated are: a friend offering to help me clean the house. Someone to watch my other kids while I took my son to doctor appts and therapies. A gift certificate for a pizza! Someone willing to meet me at places like Chuck E Cheese or the park so I could watch my kids play and hang out with a friend! When my son was growing up, all I really wanted was a friend to have coffee with, and I literally did without for nearly ten years until my daughter was old enough to watch my son. My son is almost 15 now, and able to be on his own at this point. So thank you to those who were able to help me when he was little. I promise I remember the kind words, the gestures, the prayers, the phone calls. So yes...wear the blue shirt. Thank you. But let's also reach out our hands and be more than aware...let's be helping hands. I intend to do more for others, as well.

My little boy in his own little world....2003.

If I say I'm "aware of autism" and did nothing to help a single mom, what does it matter?
If I say I'm "aware of autism" but glared at a misbehaving child at the grocery store, did I make a difference?
If I say I'm "aware of autism" and criticized a desperate parent trying the GFCF diet, did I encourage him or her?
If I say I'm "aware of autism" and said to someone, "I'm thinking of you!" and then went on my merry way,  does my thought even count?
If I say I'm "aware of autism" and buy the license plate, wear blue, change my light bulbs, stop eating wheat,  have a puzzle piece tattoo, get a new keychain, but do not hold out my hand to someone who needs aware could I really be?

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