Forward and back…16 years of Ausome!

This fabulous young man turned 16 today…


It was a day of looking back and looking forward… a low-key, laid-back day with very few demands. In reality, today was a sort of culmination of small birthday events that have been occurring for about a week; a spreading out of fun and peopleing that works delightfully well for our family.

And to be honest, I am soaking in that slower pace this weekend – getting ready to take a run at the hill as H and I are heading to TASH’14 in Washington, DC, in a too rapidly shrinking amount of time. I am holding some resources in careful reserve; both excited like a little kid waiting for a party to begin, and as usual, a bit panicked about how we will ever be able to do all the things we need to do to be ready to go.

I trust that it will come together…

H20Months.jpgAnd in an amongst all of this, I am reflecting that this beautiful little boy, pictured here at 20-months-old, is now a fabulous young man of 16.

He takes my breath away.

And… I can hardly believe that in less than 2 weeks H and I will be co presenting at TASH with the wonderful Elizabeth (Ibby) Grace of Tiny Grace Notes.

Our session is titled: Social Model of Disability: Reframing Disability In Teacher Education Programs and Classrooms. You can read about it here, but the gist of it is we will share the value and importance of reframing disability as part of the natural diversity of human experience, and examine how this can inform our practice and support of those who experience the word differently.

Attending and participating in a conference like TASH is going to give H the opportunity to meet so many activists in Autism and Disabilities communities, and also quite a number of other Autistic youth. The timing for this for H could not be better, and though I know that I should not just be expecting him to follow in my footsteps, nor should I be pushing him, I cannot squelch that kinda-hoping-feeling that the spark I see in him will be kindled into something larger.

I have great hope for this next generation’s ability to carry on the work that so many Autistic activists are doing to make things better, and to continue to rail against stigma, and fight for social justice and human rights for those who are less privileged.

I am endlessly influenced by my Autistic and Disabilities Activist and Advocate friends…
and then I influence H…
and too…
he influences me…

So, ya… tonight we kicked back and watched the 80’s flick, Fright Night, which was actually surprisingly good. I should probably be embarrassed at the way my child is influencing my tastes, but I am wearing my growing appreciation of horror and all-things-Zombie with a certain pride. To me this is a measure of time spent together and of a willingness to learn about his interests.

Forward and back… yes…

It was just past 10:20 when H went to bed tonight, as that was the time he was born and he felt it wasn’t truly his birthday until that moment. As the time came, he hugged me confidently affirmed, “Now I am 16. I love being me!”

And my heart soars…


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 (2014)   

About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
This entry was posted in ableism, Advocacy, Autism, Autistic, B films, Parent, privilege, Rail Against Stigma, Space and Pace, TASH and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Forward and back…16 years of Ausome!

  1. What a great place to be — to be glad to be you!


  2. srsalas says:

    Happy Birthday H from Bella, Bas and Lexi, Enjoy it!! 🙂


  3. Chels744 says:

    Happy late birthday!


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