Monday, December 15, 2014

A Christmas Wish for Autism Parents

May your child ask for things that can actually be bought,
And not wish for items that can no  longer be got.

Let your Internet searches and postings online,
Lead to you finding that precious item in time.

May the holiday dress clothes, so stiff and so new,
Actually get worn before it's outgrew.

May your child actually sleep on Christmas Eve night,
Or at least stay in their bed while Santa's in sight.

Let friends and family remember and care,
How challenging it can be at this time of year.

When schedules are lost,  and there's no rhyme or reason,
Our kids get overwhelmed with the holiday season.

As excitement it mounts, their stress it can too,
Keeping them calm may be all you can do.

May others make efforts to help your child succeed, 
By avoiding their triggers, that's what you need.

Let you have the strength and the courage to say,
How they can be of help to you on that day.

May you still be invited to places you seldom can get,
Because people still think of you, and haven't given up on you yet.

And when you miss out on those  parties and feel so alone, 
Be reminded of all that you have at home.

Your special family may not be like all others, 
But you too are special fathers and mothers.

May your Christmas be merry and New Year filled with joy,
And love and acceptance for your girl or boy.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I Don't Think Autism Awareness is Going to Cut it...

It is Autism Awareness Month here in Canada, a celebratory time for us in the community  I have turned my facebook profile picture into a cute little autism symbol, and everyday I post a relevant quotation.  I want to grab this opportunity to inform people about autism, and perhaps help to create a compassionate world for my son to live in  but it's not enough. And I think it is high time we switch gears.

It is not enough that people understand what autism is. It is not enough that people understand the increased rates, or even the heightened need for services and decreased wait times.  These things are important, but nobody is going to care until they recognize the humanity of our children.

It is time that we begin to demand that people with autism be treated with dignity. Basic human dignity.  Be treated as equally important in this world, and that we no longer accept alternate rules of conduct in how they are treated in the community, or in our schools.

What does it matter that I change my profile picture, if the lady at the store gives a wave of her hand and dismissively states," Autistic kids"  after a little water gets spilled?  As if to say, "what more do you expect?"

What does it matter that I change my profile picture, when it is so hard to find good community activities, where our kids are given equal instruction, not simply included?

What does it matter that I change my profile picture, when sensory rooms at schools are being misused as jail cells?

I just want to live in a world that doesn't accept less in terms of the humane treatment of children with disabilities.  A world where others, not directly affected, will stand up and demand that our children be treated with dignity.

Being autism aware isn't enough anymore, sometimes people use their scraps of knowledge to do more harm than good. 

I'd just like people to care.