So… I just got a notification that today is the 2 year anniversary of this little project, 30 Days of Autism. And… I suppose here I shall admit that I am still enamored with the irony of my blog’s name and the way it is a metaphor for what I thought I was doing – but… well… ya
It seems strange to me that I hadn’t realized the 2 year mark had come.
I feel no need for fanfare. Perhaps my marking of time is changing. I don’t really know.
Perhaps I will chalk it up to the stretchiness of time and the lovely timeless feeling of getting lost in pursuing my interests.
Perhaps it is because I realize that we’ve got a long way to go to better support diversity and to understand that there are many different ways of experiencing the world and responding to it. Things are changing… but there is still much work to be done.
Perhaps it is because, frankly, I am too busy to be counting these days. I like that!
So this isn’t really an anniversary post or anything like that.
A point of interest…
Our TV appears to be on its last legs – so to speak.
H must have picked up on this via Craig’s and my discussion.
He just randomly stated, “So… our TV is dying, huh?”
A leading question if I ever heard one…
And ya… I think I might be able to imagine where this is headed…
Oooooh… spare parts! Something new to take apart!
I love that he is so obviously calculating – like some sort of dead TV vulture… eagerly awaiting the last spark of life so he can fly in for the feed.
Or maybe just a really good recycler… and an inventor in need of more materials.
And you know what?
Craig and I most certainly will say ‘YES!’
We are working to support this kid in appreciating his strengths and differences and the way his mind works, and we want him to understand the beauty in that.
H knows he is different, and in his short 14 years has already experienced first hand the challenges and also the negative judgment of others, including the media, and/or the tragedy/epidemic stigma of certain large organizations, such as Autism Speaks.
We want him to have the strong sense of self that will carry him through difficult times – and give him the resiliency to step up when he encounters a perfect storm of challenge and obstacle.
We want him to feel at home in the world: to have his voice heard, included, and honoured, and to have a place without having to work to pass as non-autistic.
We want him to be self-determining – and, who knows, he may even choose to be an activist (like his momma). I’d love that! He may choose to keep constructing and rebuilding and inventing… or something else not yet foreseen or considered, and – I’d love that too.
I’ll keep writing here and doing my part in working to create a world where H is comfortable and safe in perfectly being who he perfectly is and can be.
And I will continue to step over the bits and parts and creations…
And I will further fall in love with the sound of tinkering in the garage… combined with the occasional swing and slam of the back screen door and the staccato sound of running shoes on the back steps.
I’ll admit that I may, at times, avoid the basement, which I am fairly certain contains the dismantled corpses and exoskeletons and electronic innards of our most recently-demised appliances.
And through all this I will know that this is really what this journey is all about: honouring H with the space, pace, and place to appreciate the wonderous and spectacular aspects of being his own authentic Autistic self…
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2013)
Congratulations, Leah, on 2 years of thoughtful, inspiring and creative posts! So appreciate the opportunity to share the insights and actions of an activist family….. Sylvie
Aw… (((Sylvie))) Thank you so much my dear, dear friend!
I know I’m skipping the big picture here, but ooh, spare parts. ❤
When I was about seven, my parents had an old Airline Stereophonic Record Player that supposedly died. I took it completely apart, gently cleaned the wiring, and then reassembled it. What a labor of love. I kept it into my twenties when I sold it (still working) to an antique dealer to pay for my daughter's physical therapy.
H is well served by his interests. 🙂
Thank you, Bridget, for taking the time to comment and sharing your wonderful story. I appreciate your support in encouraging H’s interests.