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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Autism and awareness at 13...Oh My!

Saturday, March 31, 20

This is cross posted from my blog "Herd"




~"Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children."~
Oliver Wendell Holmes



*Sigh* It is that time of year again..  Once again, I am being swamped with invitations and promotions..fundraisers...you name it.  It seems that everyone is talking about wearing blue, lighting it up blue...and if it isn't about blue it is about puzzle pieces...April is Autism awareness month. AND once again, I'm being told by people already aware that we need to get together and be more aware so that unaware people will gain awareness. Say thatten times fast. I am not a fan of this yearly event, and I fully expressed my thoughts on this last April.  So..this year, I thought I would do something a little bit different. This year, I'm going right to the source. 

"Hey Sam!?"  "Yeah Mama?" "Come here please...I want to talk to you."  "What?" "I want to interview you."
"For what?".."My blog." "Your blog? O.K!.".."It is gonna be about autism...is that o.k?." "Umm yeah...sure."  "I'm just going to ask you some questions..alright?" .."sure."

Me-"Have you seen those ribbons people wear?  They are either blue or colorful with puzzle pieces on the?"
Sam-"Ribbons?....Oh! yes-yes I have."
Me-"Do you know what they are for?"
Sam-"Not really."
Me-"They are supposed to represent "autism"...next month is autism awareness month."
Sam"What's that?"
Me-"Well..it means that the month is dedicated to making people aware about autism...What do you think about that?"
Sam-"Do you mean "cure it"."
Me-"Maybe some people."
Sam-"Then I don't like it."
Me-"Why?"
Sam-"Because you shouldn't poke around in peoples brains..it might mess them up."
Me-"Yeah...but..well...look at you. You are going to go to college..you will have a career..now Oscar on the other hand might not...and what about Frank? (Frank(changed name) is a boy that we know who is severely affected by autism) Things sometimes seem harder for them.  What do you think we should do for them?
Sam-Hey..they are good guys!  I like them just the way they are!"
Me-"But what do you think we should do for them?"
Sam"We should educate them..make sure they are o.k...it's like that line.."
Me-"Line?'
Sam-"You know..I'm on one part of it..and Oscar is on another?"
Me-"You mean the spectrum."
Sam-"Yes-the spectrum.  Look-just because they are on one place doesn't mean they aren't people! Hey-they might be different..but they are people. They have feelings!"
Me-Hey-I agree with you! 
Sam-"Look-being different is o.k.!"
Me-"It is! I think though..well..I think sometimes different is hard."
Sam"..yeah.."
Me-"You are different from a lot of your friends at school"
Sam-"yeah.."
Me-"Does having autism bother you?"
Sam-"..hhmmm..sometimes?
Me-"Well...tell me what you like about it?"
Sam-"I like how I think. The pictures I see."
Me-"What don't you like?"
Sam-"Well..look-everyone at school is always texting...the guys are all in the hall texting the girls and they are texting back..and I don't understand it..I don't get it. That doesn't interest me.."

(as a side note-I think the world at large texts way too much.  Funny-my kids were taught that they had to TALK to people..and all the people they have been made to talk to- are texting.  Anyone else see the irony here?)
Me-"That's alright..You don't have to be interested....Do you know what the word disability means?"
Sam-"No"
Me"Well..it is like this..if you were blind-you would be considered disabled...because the world in general is built around people who can see.."
Sam-"o.k."
Me-"Well...did you know that autism is considered a disability?" That some of the things that affect you are considered a disability..Like how you don't like to sweat..or..remember when you stopped talking?"
Sam-"I do remember. I couldn't hear what people were saying ..it was like everyone's words sounded all blingglablahblahgla...I could here some words...but mostly it was all mixed up..I used to only see the movies I watched over and over in my head..I knew who you were..but everything was black around me...except for the movies...and then ...do you remember standing on that porch with me?"
Me-"What porch?"
Sam-"It was when we lived in the blue house..I was standing there with you and it was like everything snapped into place..and the movies in my head stopped.
Me"Wow..just..I never knew that."
Sam-"Yeah it was like I got colors back."
Me-"That is really really interesting buddy..wow......does everything sound right now?"
Sam-"Well if people are far away and they talk to me...sometimes the words still get mixed up."
Me-"That is considered a disability..auditory processing disorder.."
Sam-"Look-everyone is on the spectrum"
Me-"what do you mean?"
Sam-"Look, the whole world is a spectrum and we are on it."
Me-"Well...there are adults who as they got to be my age, say that they identify with autism..that maybe they are on the spectrum..."
Sam-"hahahahahahahahahaha.."
Me-"What's so funny?"
Sam-"Why?..Look..it's like biting your tongue and telling people you did...do you get what I'm saying?"
Me"..uummm..No..."
Sam-"Say someone lived inside their house and bit there tongue...and then years later came out and told people they bit there tongue.  What's the point?"
Me-"I..well..I don't know."
Sam-"We are all on the spectrum somewhere..."
Me-"So how do you feel about this whole awareness thing?"
Sam-"Look..it's like that ribbon is a giant monster...and its birthday is in the month of April..and everyone has to celebrate it's birthday or they will be turned into little monsters. Do you get it?"
Me-"Maybe...I have to think about that one.."
Sam-"Alright...can we be done? Can I go on the computer?"
Me-"Yeah...thanks buddy."
Sam-"Sure"

    There is really nothing more that I can add to this.  I believe I will let my sons words stand on their own.  Because they can-and isn't that wonderful?   This week, Sam (much to his delight) surpassed me in height..perhaps he surpassed me in wisdom as well.
 "Out of the mouths of babes oft times come gems..."(prov.)
  


If you care to comment-please remember-this is my son-I would appreciate if you would respect that.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I appreciate greatly what your son as well as yourself have said here in this post.

I have been involved with a certain group of individuals that twice now the word "cure" has come up and each time it has sounded like nails on a chalk board to me.

I like my son the way he is and I don't for one minute every want him to think that he needs to change or be different. I don't want him to change a thing and I don't want to facilitate others to think that anyone would be better off being more like a certain type of people or behaving a certain way.

My original sole purpose of joining this group was because I wanted to be involved in something positive. I also wanted to raise awareness in my community that it's ok to be different and think differently.

I am not sure where this difference in opinion will lead me. Only time will tell.

But I am glad to hear that I am not alone in my feeling there.

Thank you for your thoughts! They have inspired me to take a stronger stance in what I believe is right anyway!

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