Monday, April 2, 2012

A Different Perspective on World Autism Awareness Day 2012

It is almost the close of World Autism Awareness Day 2012.

Whether you decided to light it up blue or you focused on letting your own light shine, I hope you will be kind to and accepting of others on the autism spectrum not just today but every day.

There were a lot of posts in the blogosphere today regarding autism, Asperger Syndrome and any topic you can think of regarding the autism spectrum. There were all kinds of viewpoints.  As autism is considered a spectrum disorder and each person that you meet with autism will present differently, there will be a variety of viewpoints and opinions on loaded topics such as cause, "cure", strategies for helping, where the funding should go... and where it is likely to go.

Just like politics... just like religion... just like ANY topic someone is passionate about, there will be major differences in opinion. Differences don't always mean that one is right and one is wrong. I remember taking Statistical Analysis back in college and one of the first things our professor told us was that no matter how accurate your stats are, they can always be slanted to look like something other than what they were intended to be. Always look at statistics while wearing your critical thinking hat and it's a good idea to have it on at all times when trying to navigate through all the information you will come across on the internet about autism. 

I'd like to think that the vast majority of people are good and have their hearts in the right place when trying to help those on the spectrum. Of course to me, a lot of credibility goes right out the window when rudeness and self-righteousness appear. Some people know how to be respectful to others when conversing.  Others... well, not so much. I like to take the attitude that it is okay to feel what you are feeling and accept that as real emotion but at the same time, when interacting with others, to do your best to make sure what comes out of your mouth is respectful, regardless or not if you agree or disagree with the person you are conversing with. Less self and more selfless...

Unfortunately if you are in the online autism community for very long... you will see that not everyone takes that viewpoint. Oh how easy it is to hide behind a computer and say mean things... 

There was one blog in particular today that I found raw and refreshing. It was written by Margie Pazmino Walker who blogs at Speaking On The Spectrum.

The title is... wait for it...

Now that the title got your attention, you'll just have to check out her blog.  It would be unfair for me to paraphrase it here when the whole post is definitely worth your time to read!

Let me know what you think and of course, let Margie know too.  I agree with the vast majority of what she has to say and give her props that she had the courage and inspiration to write it first.

Very well said, Margie!

As for writing from me, I'm bringing out a favorite from the past.

wrote this poem 4/8/10 and thought it would be a good day to share again.  Hope you enjoy!

Autism Does Not Define Me - A Poem by Karen Krejcha

Accept me for who I am,
Understand that I may not always get what you're saying.
Trust that God has me here for a reason;
I am an amazing human being.
Socially, I might not fit in with society's expectations.
Mentoring can help me along the way.

Don't forget that I have feelings even if I don't express them.
Opportunities for my happiness are indeed possible.
Educate and encourage me without prejudice.
Show patience and kindness along the way.

Never give up trying to "get" me
Ostracizing me will just shut me down.
Take time to try and come into my world.

Defining me as my diagnosis ignores my essence and best qualities.
Emerging talents may arise when you least expect them.
Friendship and honesty is valued to me more than you can imagine.
I am in need of love and tenderness too.
Never let me give up, especially when you see my mood shift.
Expect the unexpected and watch me enrich your life. 

Many people will read this and I pray millions will act.
Embrace and empower someone with Autism today. 

Autism Does Not Define Me

Let your lights shine, Aspierations friends!  Let your lights shine!

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