The past few days I have been in awe. I always knew how strong special needs moms and dads are, but when they come together, well they move mountains. We pulled together and because of it, a little girl may get her transplant, A public official knows exactly how we feel and Down Syndrome has worked its way not only into Target ads but onto prime time TV. Noah’sDad’s blog post about the ad and what it means to the special needs community spread like wild fires and the world was forced to take notice. Noah’s dad, Rick, wrote this: ” By Target using Ryan in this ad, they said it’s important for the world to see people born with disabilities with a fresh set of eyes. That it’s time for us to lay down all the inaccurate stereotypes from the past and move forward embracing the future with true and accurate ones”. I loved that statement and that is why I followed Rick’s request and re-posted it and a lot of other folks did too. AND guess what… the world SAW… people took the time to stop and see Ryan for who he is, just an adorable boy with a contagious smile! The story made its way to NBC Nightly NEWS. And once again it proved that when Special Needs parents come together, get behind one another well look what happens.
I am so happy about all the good that has come out of our coming together, but in the back of my mind, it made me even more sad. You see we may be a sloth of bears ready to attack anyone outside our group who dares to try to hurt one of our cubs, but within our sloth… we growl, show our teeth and bite one another. We make hasty judgements and fling nasty comments at one another. The end result, people who really need the support of others step away, and leave feeling even more isolated and depressed.
I want to waive a white flag. Oh I am not giving up, I just want to call a truths. Whether you believe in vaccines or are against them; you follow a GFCF diet or you don’t; your child is on the High functioning side or leans more to classic , whether Autism Speaks for you or it doesn’t…I don’t care. I just want all the arguing to stop! I wish there was some sort of peace treaty we all could sign. I know some of you might be thinking that I am a wanna be Hippie who wants to wrap my arms around everyone and burst out into a chorus of Bob Dylan‘s Blowin’ in the wind! No I just want us all to surrender to all the animosity and pettiness. Because if we put our differences aside, just think what we can accomplish. There are tens of millions of autistic people in the world and a gazillion more who love and support them. There is no way that “a man can turn his head and pretend he just doesn’t see” that!
So I started to think about what I wanted to do, what I felt like I needed to say to you all and then Jay walked into the room. I told him what I wanted to do and he asked why. (I know how deep is this kid?) After a few minutes of me trying to find the words I said…
“Because I want the world to SEE you the way I see you! As the perfect person you are. Warts and all!” Of course then I had to explain what I meant about warts and reassure my Aspie that he does not have warts and that it is just a figure of speech! One day I will learn to express myself better!
Then Jay said he wanted to help. He said we should come up with something that Autism could stand for. I jumped on that and easily came up with All United Together for the “A” the “U” and the “T”. But I was stuck after that. Jay got very quiet and said…
“I SEE ME!”
I wasn’t paying attention at first and asked what he was talking about.
“I See Me for the “I”, the “S” and the “M”, he replied.
“Okay,” I said not really following, “But what does that mean?”
And I hope you are sitting down folks because this is deep and special and well… just perfect!And definitely WART FREE!
“Mom, if everyone comes together and they stop fighting well then there will be calm, quiet and well that will make it easier for me to see MYSELF!”
WOW… here I was thinking about us just getting along so that the outside world would see us as a united front and actually listen to what we have to say, but this was bigger much bigger. We need to come together, to stop all the BS so that we create an environment where it is safe for our autistic loved ones to be able to See THEMSELVES, and not only see themselves, to know that the person looking back in that mirror is WONDERFUL! Then and only then can we ask the outside world if they can see us too!
Perhaps I am the only one who thinks this way, and if so that is fine. But I don’t think I am. I think that many other people out there in our Village in our community may agree. We can make a difference but we can’t do it if we are fighting amongst ourselves. I am not really sure what I am supposed to do next but some how I feel like this message needs to get out and perhaps if it does something big will happen. I am an optimist that way. I really would like to believe that we live in a world that one day will be filled with people who respect one another and not only accept differences, applaud them! If you think that might be possible too then feel free to re -post this, write your own post, plaster it on Facebook, use the little image I made as your profile picture… whatever! It has to start somewhere and some how! Why not now?