Sunday, February 24, 2013

Of Moms and Monsters: Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Reprinted from Of Moms and Monsters!

I just read about this "flash-blog" - called Autistic People Should...
The premise of this is based on the auto-fill results when you type 'Autistic People Should" into a Google search bar.  The outcome is downright disturbing at best.  In an effort to change this, a blog has been created, allowing others to post about what they think 'Autistic People Should' be...
I know they originally called for individuals with autism to be the posters - but as a mother of not just one, but most likely two autistic children, I feel the need to jump on board with this and throw my voice into the mix.  So, here goes.  
Autistic People Should be cherished.  They should be treated like the kind of valuable gems that they are.  
Autistic People Should be respected.  They face more challenges than most people will ever even know, and they will do it with the kind of grace that most of us should be so lucky to possess.  They thrive in a world of people who doubt them.  They shine in a world of people who try to hide their brilliance.  When we should all make it our goals to help them shine brighter.
Autistic People Should be recognized.  For the strength they possess, the wonder and awe they bring to those around them.  For the incredibly different way they see the world. For the joy and laughter they bring to the people they let know them.  
Autistic People Should be taught.  Not to see the world like everyone else.  Not to conform to societal ideas of what it is to be "normal".  They should be taught that it is more than okay - it's wonderful to be different.  To set themselves apart.  To love the things that fascinate them.  To be who they are without shame, compromise, or feelings of inadequacy.  
It isn't autistic people who should do anything - it's every other person in the world.  It is every person who does nothing.  It is every person who refuses to take five seconds to learn something about another human being.  It is all of the people who judge, and shush, and shun.  It is the people who work against, instead of with.  It is every system that has a fatal flaw in the design when built for "typical" people.  We have left-handed scissors and guitars.  We have wheelchair accessible ramps and bathrooms.  But we don't have academics to suit our autistic children.  We don't send our teachers to be trained on how to teach an autistic child.  We don't have sensory friendly grocery stores, or playgrounds.  
Autistic People Should be THEMSELVES.  Because that is what makes them beautiful, brilliant, quirky, life-affirming human beings.  They bring magic back into a world that long ago lost some of its luster.  They are nothing short of miracles.  And anyone who doesn't recognize that, is missing out.  

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