Yesterday was World Autism Awareness Day and I had absolutely nothing to say. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the puzzle pieces and autism warrior moms blogging about their kids. It was a bit terrifying. Let’s get a few things straight. Having a child with autism or being an adult with autism is not like going to war. We do not need any warrior moms, we are a peaceful people. I call myself an autism mom because I am a mom with autism with teens with autism. But, this is not my whole identity. I am autistic, but I am also a musician, a martial artist, a wife, a care taker, a blogger, an ultra marathoner. My life is not defined by the fact that my teens are autistic. Furthermore, we are not “affected by autism”. We are not “living on the spectrum”. We are autistic. Plain and simple.
As to puzzle pieces. The puzzle piece is pushed heavily by Autism Speaks, a hate organization that wants to “cure” autism and end it forever. That would mean no more Temple Grandin. No more Boo, no more me, no more Mouse. It would mean I would lose scores of friends. Thanks, but no thanks. We are not missing puzzle pieces. We are whole, complete people. We do not want to fit into your neurotypical framework. The preferred autistic symbol is the infinity symbol in rainbow colors. I have this as a tattoo on my right arm, with the words “Define normal” written over it. This tattoo never fails to make me smile. I am proud of it.
The color blue. This is also a misnomer. “Light it up blue” only recognizes the males on the spectrum. There are tons of females who are also autistic. Those who are particularly not diagnosed are women of color. Autistics prefer the colors red and gold, not blue. And, we all deserve a place at the table. This means autistics of all shapes, colors, sexes, binary, non binary, trans. The list goes on and on. We do not “light it up blue”. We are proud, diverse rainbow of people.
So, those are my thoughts for the day. Spring is coming. I saw a robin yesterday. No flowers yet, but they will come soon. I took Boo out on his adaptive bike yesterday and he had a blast. He is on spring break this week, so many adventure await. Peace out, be good humans, and look for rainbows.