Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Autistics Speaking Day!

I have some stories to tell you about trick or treating, which was awesome, but they are going to have to wait, because today is Autistics Speaking Day and everything else is getting bumped. I encourage you to visit the ASDay website and check out the list of participating writers. Take some time and read what they have to say. It's important.

Also, if you have time, check out my column at Autism Unexpected today. I interviewed Corina Becker, the woman who had the idea for ASDay. She's awesome.

For my own post here, I remembered that it is not Stimey Speaking Day (that's every other stupid day here in Stimeyland), but rather Autistics Speaking Day. So I looked around this morning and managed to locate one of them in the backseat of the car on the way to school.

This guy. (The green one, not the pink one.)

I took a few minutes and I told him about ASDay and about all the grown ups with autism whose brains work kinda like his do and how they are having a day all about letting people know what it is like to be them.

I asked him what he wants people to know about him. He said that he would want people to know that he likes Lego Robotics. Then he said, "I'm Jack and I am funny. I am also hilarious." (For the record, he totally is.)

Right on, Jack. Speak it.

I would add that he is kind, adorable, smart, cuddly, and empathetic (yeah, I said it).

I asked him if there is anything he wanted to ask the autistic grown ups who might hear his question. He said, "Do you like Plants vs. Zombies?"

He's, you know, eight.

I suspect that as he grows older, his question will be different and more pressing. This is why I am so grateful for the autistic adults who carry on with this day. In a few years, my kid is really going to need you. I hope ASDay is still around.

Because you, the autistic adults reading this? You are role models. You are who I look to when I tell my son, "Look what you can do. You are amazing." Because he is. And you are. You are who I want my child to be when he grows up. You are who I want my child to look to when he struggles.

Thank you for speaking. Thank you for ASDay. Thank you for being who you are and letting my son know that it is not just okay, but GREAT, to be who he is.

To sum up:
• Today is Autistics Speaking Day. Go visit the website.
• Check out my interview with and column about Corina Becker.
• Jack likes Lego Robotics and is funny.
• If you are an autistic adult, please let Jack know in the comments if you like Plants vs. Zombies.
• Thank you for ASDay. It means so much to us allies to hear you speaking. Really. Thank you.

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