Saturday, 7 June 2014
Is Autism Awareness a good thing?
As a mother with a child on the spectrum I tend to really dislike labels. Everything has been given a name due to the human's need to define everything. Why can't it just be part of who we are and how we act instead of it being some force outside of us, or something that is happening to us?
Anyway, we put a name to everything. And when kids started processing the world differently, after awhile of discussion, they lumped it under autism. Ok, I can accept that. The problem is when people take the title and assume what it means. That's when labels become an issue for me.
The real trouble begins when people assume that they are experts on autism and that they know, before even meeting the child, what the child will be like.
On the other hand if they know that they don't know everything, and are willing to learn, they open their mind to be educated, and can be great word of mouth mini advocates that, spread the word on autism, and infect the masses with the intelligence to be open minded about something they may not know to much about.
So, is Autism Awareness a good thing? Yes, in the sense that it will boost other peoples understanding of something that people are looking at as a stigma rather than a new way of processing. With this awareness my hope would be that people would improve education equality, understand that not all autistic children think the same, and that it's OK to think and be different. It may also put out the signals to other parents with kids on the spectrum that they are not alone. Awareness is almost, in a sense, a way of building a community.
When people come together to speak about breast cancer awareness, say at an event, a beautiful thing happens. A community forms, to love one another, support one another, to share stories, to connect on a real level, to almost subconsciously admit that we are all one and see the beauty in each and every person attending the event. People see that life is precious and rejoice in the beauty of women everywhere, and mourn the ones we have lost. Shouldn't we always do this regardless of what it is?
I can imagine that that bond is just as strong at an autism event, in a different way but still very strong. People gather, share stories, find comfort in one another, support one another, reach out to say "Yup we've been there and this is what we did...", and celebrate their children and their accomplishments. Something in the community is happening inside of the little bundle of miracles we have created, and it is helping bring everyone closer together. Why in the world is that a bad thing? Maybe this is the push to create a new paradigm of understanding, patience and, yes I'll say it, love. Maybe what we've been told is the problem is actually the answer to fixing every nations problem and maybe it all starts with awareness. Awareness of someone else. That is what we're lacking. And that is why awareness for anything is important. And to act with love is quite possibly the answer we have been looking for.
As always thanks for reading!
Much love and gratitude to you and yours,