Tomorrow is World Autism Day ...a day we celebrate by all acting autistic...no, I kid, I kid. But it is something Evan and I might do in the privacy of our home...we might just crank it up a notch and totally overload the senses and overdose the cats on catnip.
Actually, this is a day set aside to raise awareness...let me tell you something, just between you and me...I'm pretty much aware every single day. I'm pretty sure Evan is too. I'm also willing to bet that darn near 90% of my blogroll is too. So, who is the awareness for? For the people that think our children are spoiled brats when they have meltdowns in public when really it is a sensory overload and things are just not happening the way they should? Because that only happens on April 2nd, you know. IEPs and reevaluations and M-team meetings and multiple therapies and doctor appointments only happen on April 2nd as well. The rejection letters from SSI only come on April 2nd as well. On April 2nd we only worry about our children's future; will they ever drive a car, or even learn to cross the street by themselves, will they ever be able to live on their own, will they always tell the same story over and over and over again? Does this only happen on April 2nd?
Well, in my world I celebrate autism awareness every single day, not just on April 2nd. I celebrate with laughter and I celebrate with tears and frustration. I celebrate that as a single mother, so many years ago, when given the diagnosis of my son, that I had the love and support of my parents to help me along. Back in the early dark days when I was sure it was my fault, when my son would ask Santa for a blonde haired, blue eyed mommy and kiss the garage door instead of me...when I would have to read bedtime stories to the fan and vacuum cleaner. When I lost friends because my child was different, when extended family became scared of his meltdowns. When it was mentioned that marrying me and that child would be a huge undertaking. When it all went to hell. And when I fought tooth and nail to get services.
When I played the autism card to get an autograph and a goody bag from his favorite singer at the time, camped out in front of her tour bus for HOURS in 90 degree heat. When I played it again with Johnny Depp .
I celebrate my son and all he has accomplished every single day, just like any other parent, just like any other kid. I don't need one day...but maybe some people do...so if you could wear blue tomorrow I would appreciate it...you know, to help me celebrate my son, the kid that wears the cow costume to school on toga day. And to celebrate all the other children and adults out there that don't need just one day of celebration or awareness...let it be all year long. Celebrate with me.