Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent
In a surprising turn of events, my household will be sporting blue porch lights this month. I know. I’m surprising even myself. Don’t misunderstand my actions: in no way do I support Autism Speaks. Their lack of autistic adults on their board or in their organization, as well as their support of the Rotenberg Educational Center, combined with insanely high board salaries and preference to “search for the cure” rather than support families prohibits me, personally, from being a fan.
So why am I participating in the Light It Up Blue campaign? Why am I “outing” my child as an autistic when he himself doesn’t know or understand?
Because I have this crazy thought that by sporting blue porch lights, I can let the other autistic families in my neighborhood know that they are not alone. And that neighbors who have an idea that my boys are “special” will understand why. Maybe this will explain the screaming, the behaviors and different looking toys we have in the yard. Maybe the those three blue lights will touch a heart and soften the questioning looks and stares.
Maybe not, but I have to try. I don’t feel comfortable doing a cold introduction and disability debrief to people who, thus far, have made no effort to get to know me or mine. I want to introduce my sons and explain what they should do if they ever happen upon my children alone, as in the case of wandering elopement. But, It’s a little frosty in this ‘hood, as I’ve mentioned before.
My hope is that, miraculously, some people will start to talk to us. That if someone on this street thinks their child may have autism, that they know there is a friendly face for them and a shoulder to lean on when the days are dark. Because that’s what we are all looking for, I think. Someone who understands both the struggles, and how amazing the achievement and joy can be; someone to help us navigate new territory, and someone who can laugh at the absurdity of it all; someone who needs a friend, and someone who is willing to be a friend. And with the new number of 1:68 children having autism, chances are very high there are several families right in my subdivision.
Well, Neighbor, I’m here. I’m ready to laugh with you and cry with you, and I’m ready to share miracles with you.
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