It’s World Autism Day today – April 2.
People all over the world will stand up, go out and face the neurotypical world dressed in blue. As night falls buildings, bridges & iconic landmarks around the globe will be lit in blue. Most people won’t notice or have any real awareness of the reason behind it. But for the families and friends of the autism community it’s a day or great significance.
It’s our day. It’s when we get to reflect on our experience of autism. Whatever that might be.
I recently told a friend that I don’t identify with the ‘Autism Warrior’ tag. I’ve met a few warriors in my time and I’m definitely not one of them. To me it’s an aggressive word – a fighting word. I’m not fighting autism. I’m learning more about it every day. I’m learning about love and about acceptance.
That doesn’t mean that I’ve thrown my hands in the air and given up. My hands are in the air but they are dancing and clapping, fist pumping and celebrating. It definitely doesn’t mean that I’m right and everyone who doesn’t agree with me is wrong. Our community, like every community, is diverse. We all have different experiences of autism. Every autistic person is as different from each other as you and I.
It is about finding the way to parent my boy that suits us both the best. Today, as my facebook feed fills with messages of pride and love, acknowledgement and celebration I know that the world is changing. There is more awareness than there ever has been. We know more about autism than we ever have. That is what I want to reflect on today. I’ll save my challenges for another day.