Today is World Autism Awareness Day.
…in case you live in a bubble without internet, television, or radio access and haven’t already heard.
Of course, I say that, but yet I’m irritated to hell and back that Google didn’t alter its homepage image today in recognition. ??? Because there was never a logo that begged more for a puzzle piece, so how does that work?
The concept of this day (and really, week) is great, and more power to everyone involved in raising awareness throughout the world. Incidentally, I hope we’re raising awareness about more than nonverbal autism; I know that CNN has a wonderful article written by an Aspergian someone on their staff. I also hope we’re doing more than bitching about vaccines and raving about gluten-free diets. Yes, those are important issues, but they aren’t the only issues.
Have you noticed that anything talking about Autism Awareness seems to end up being the same few things over and over again? If you’re a parent of an autistic child, I assure you, you’ve noticed. Currently the winners are:
A list of early warning signs.
Jenny McCarthy talking about her son’s amazing recovery with a GFCF diet (among other things – and hallelujah to her, but not all kids have GI symptoms, people, including mine).
Snippets of debates over vaccines and other possible causes.
Things I don’t see anyone talking about:
School with communication and socialization curricula.
High-functioning kids who still aren’t going to be able to make it in the world if they aren’t able to get some adaptive therapies – that their parents can’t possibly pay for.
The fact that, in most states, the public school system is not even close to adequately equipped to deal with the needs of these children but that yet it is still a bloody war that is left to the parents to fight alone to try to get proper services for their child, often either failing or paying such a high cost emotionally, mentally, and financially by the time they see any measure of success that the mere act of trying to facilitate their child’s education—one small part of the child’s needs—can destroy their lives, relationships, and family.
And oddly, am I the only person on the planet who thinks someone should start talking to the ‘normal’ rest of the world about how to deal with people with deficits in communication and social skills? Maybe it’s time that someone ELSE adjust besides just the people who are already in the fight of their lives? Just, ya know, maybe.
CNN has dedicated a huge amount of their day’s programming to autism, which is fantastic, truly. It would be even more fantastic if it hadn’t inspired someone to call me repeatedly to tell me that it was on and that I should watch it. I’m pretty sure it would be deemed incredibly rude of me to reply, “In case you hadn’t noticed? I’m Aware. With a capital A. YOU watch it. Call your friends and tell THEM to watch it. Please, scream it from the highest rooftop. But me? I’m covered.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go spend some time with my autistic son, whose programming is dedicated to raising my Awareness 24/7/365.