I would be a wealthy woman if…
I had a nickel for every time I heard “I’m sorry” when I mention that my son is Autistic. And nothing angers me more when my son is flapping or grunting then to see the dreaded sympathy stares or worse, the old snap-n-sneak-a-peak. Do you know what I’m talking about? When someone staring at your child catches you staring at them and they snap their necks straight; curiosity gets the better of them, so they strain like everything to stare at your kid out of the corner of their eye. That’s what I mean by the old snap-n-sneak-a-peak. Many of us have experienced this phenomenon and unfortunately will continue to do so, unless society takes a turn for the better and steps out of the dark ages. I’ll be the first to dance on the roof tops when that happens.
How can we be so far advanced and so far behind, all at the same time?
I could understand this kind of behavior if we were in the 16th or even 19th century, where ignorance prevailed due to lack of exposure. In this day, with lightening fast access to all kinds of people, places and circumstance; it’s shocking society still has little understanding or tolerance for those who are outside of the box in thinking and behavior. Could it be how society’s set up? After all, this remedial remnant of societal hierarchy, you know…the us and them theory, is learned behavior. We are born, grow up, go to school, sit in our little seats and perform as if part of some collective. When we see someone act outside of what is the “norm” we point and squawk. Calling in the pod people to desensitize those gone free and real them back into the collective. If that doesn’t work, then the free ones are locked up, hidden away from society’s eye. Hard to believe we are still receptive to and capable of this sort of arcane thinking.
How long will we have to make efforts to bring forth “Awareness?” And at what point and time will society not only be aware, but understand and accept. Neither we nor our children need permission to be Autistic or anything else. It’s time for society to hop on their hover crafts and catch up to us in the 21st century. Or better yet, we can leave them behind and form our own society.
Give yourselves a pat on the back. Do you realize that you and I are part of an exclusive club? Think about it…As Autistics, parents and caregivers of Autistics we are a special breed. No one knows what our world is like unless we share it with them. No one could ever understand the boundless love and infinite patience that we have towards our own and others. Anyone of us can share our story and know that everyone else in our community will understand. It is within this special grouping of people that no explanations are needed. We laugh, we cry, we celebrate each others triumphs. We take nothing for granted. We should be honored that we have been hand selected to take on these special duties. We are the ones that have the courage and tenacity to survive anything that comes our way. This life, this experience has made each and every one of us better people. Stand proud! And the next time you see the old snap-n-sneak-a-peak, imagine that person being one of the collective drones and recognize that you and your family are free.