April is Autism Awareness Month! There was a time when I believed that switching a light bulb to blue was enough. I honestly believed with all my heart that just wearing a shirt was enough. But now I know that while wearing a shirt can definitely start a conversation… it’s not enough. Awareness is a concept, acceptance is an action!
Acceptance is understanding that autistic rights are human rights!
Acceptance is embracing the fact that just because someone may not communicate in the same way we do, does not mean they don’t deserve to be heard.
Acceptance is knowing that this world is big enough for all kinds of different thinking, different ways of doing things, and just well…DIFFERENT in general! Different is what will come up with a cure for cancer one day, different is what will create musical masterpieces, different is what will fix your computers, create the movies you go to see, give you the best hug you ever got and just fill our world with more color and beauty!
So I said before that awareness is a concept and acceptance is an action. Here is the thing I think they do go hand in hand. In order to take action you must first be aware of something that needs to change. See where I am going here? What I am saying is to please go ahead and wear the shirts, pass out puzzle pieces, write blog posts etc… but do so knowing that is only the first step. What will you do once someone comments on the t-shirt, the puzzle piece the blog posts?
For me, I decided that the best way I could celebrate April was to celebrate my boy and do all those accepting things I mentioned before. My thought is that I can talk all day long about what needs to be done, what we SHOULD be doing yadda yadda yadda but I really have no right to do so because while I love my boy with every ounce of my being and would slay a dragon for him…I am not autistic! In order to know what it is that I need to be asking you all to accept, what actions need to be taken; I need to be aware. And that means shutting up and listening to the person whom I know that knows this best… JAY. So I asked him two questions and then I stopped talking and really listened to what he had to say.
Me: Jay it’s almost April and you know what that means, Autism Awareness month. This year I want to ask you a couple of questions and I would then, with your permission , like to share it with the world, or at least my blog. The two questions are… What do you want? and What do you need?”
I shut my mouth after that. I did not try to explain them or put ideas into his head, I just let him process those two questions and waited. What he said was so simple yet so deep! He said…
“I WANT to be understood. To have people accept me just the way I am and not make me feel bad for being this way. I NEED help because I don’t think what I WANT will ever happen. I need modifications and people like you to break things down when I need them and to support me and lead me to be the best I can be!”
Then Jay went back to playing on the computer and left me there to process the importance of what he had just said.
Awareness is a concept, Acceptance is an action. This April and then May, June and every other month then after I know what action I will be striving for. I will do what ever I can so that my boy will live in a world where he can believe his WANT can happen because every person deserves to be understood and accepted just the way they are! I think I will repeat that because um… it’s HUGE!
My boy wants you all to be AWARE that he is Autistic and that all he wants is for you to understand him and ACCEPT him just the way he is and to not make him feel bad for being this way!!!
April is Autism Awareness month! If you are reading this, well then you already can check off the awareness part because you are aware of what my boy wants and that he has autism. Now for the acceptance part. Show my boy that you hear him, that you accept him just the way he is by leaving a comment saying you do. Please let him know that he never ever has to feel bad for being who he is!Then spread share this posts so that more people are aware, more people will understand why acceptance and taking action is so important! No one should feel bad for being who they are… NO ONE!!!