This blog will be controversial – so this is a fair warning.
I just returned from a run. As I scrolled through my social media I could NOT believe what is happening in the Autism Community.
Some folks are loving ‘Light it Up Blue.’
Some folks are loving ‘Walking in Red.’
Some folks are loving ‘Acceptance.’
Some folks are loving ‘Awareness.’
Others are ‘hating on’ ‘Light it Up Blue.’
Others are ‘hating on’ ‘Walking in Red.’
Others are ‘hating on’ ‘Acceptance.’
Others are ‘hating on’ Awareness.’
If I was a fan of using expletives, I would have a ‘sailor-type’ string of them to say.
Stop it. Seriously – please, stop.
On Day #203 – I’m Gonna Light It Up I explained why I felt comfortable supporting the Light It Up Blue day. I stand behind that choice. I also stand behind the choice of others who feel more comfortable Walking in Red. I also stand behind the choice of others who don’t want to do either.
I stand behind people who want ‘acceptance’ for those affected by autism.
I stand behind people who want ‘awareness’ for those affected by autism.
Last week, I asked Tucker what he wanted to do for Light it Up Blue. He responded, “I’m in 7th grade, nothing.” Of course he doesn’t want to do anything, he just wants to be accepted for who he is. I accepted his wishes (albeit I was sad on the inside) without hesitation.
Monday night when he arrived home he saw that I made Blue Velvet cupcakes (simply substitute blue food coloring in a Red Velvet recipe) for the Light It Up Blue Celebration at school. His school is on spring break right now, so they celebrated the event on Tuesday.
When he saw the cupcakes he looked at me and said, “I know I said I didn’t want to do anything, but can I take those tomorrow to my first hour class? I want them to celebrate me. I want to thank my class for understanding me. I also want to tell my classmates who may not know.”
Know what that is?
He wanted to make his classmates aware.
He wanted to thank his classmates for accepting.
He wanted to celebrate his uniqueness.
I smiled from ear to ear. All of those feelings made his mama so happy – he accepts who he is, he wants others to know about him, he recognizes that he is, unique, – and that is AWESOME.
When he woke up the next morning he came upstairs dressed in blue from head to toe. I did not ask him, I did not remind him…he did it, all on his own.
He does not care who started the movement.
He does not care about the specifics of either movement.
He does care about people understanding and accepting him.
He does care about having the opportunity to celebrate what makes him special.
That is our experience…and ours alone. Please don’t judge it – and I won’t judge yours.
I’m just beyond frustrated at the attacks that are happening. Today is a positive day for SO. MANY. FOLKS. It is not my job to ‘judge’ how you want to celebrate (or not) autism. Maybe it’s something I’ve learned through this process…
I’m happy that more people understand.
I’m happy that more people know.
I’m happy that more people want to know.
I’m happy that my 60-something-year-old parents were excited to wear blue today – not only for Tucker, but for all people who have autism.
The argument is, shouldn’t we simply accept others without having to be ‘aware’ of their struggles? Well, of course we should. However, aren’t so many great stories built upon learning about another’s story? Once I hear/understand another person’s story I am more prone to understand why they feel/behave a certain way.
Here is where my brain gets caught…
If we are expecting others to be accepting then shouldn’t we also be accepting of their own process to accept?
Read that again.
I will not attack you, wherever you are in your process of awareness/acceptance – because true awareness/acceptance is always a process that produces a positive product.
Walk in red.
Talk about acceptance.
Talk about awareness.
I don’t care what you do – as long as it is rooted in love and compassion.