Here in Canada, it’s Autism Awareness month. With everyone in the family being on varying points on the spectrum, we’d rather that it be Autism Acceptance.
Quite a few of my friends have children on the spectrum, and I am blessed to know them. They are my people. We recognize that none of us live in a bubble, and that meeting one autistic person means you’ve met one autistic person.
Myself, my diagnosis is still new to me. But it makes so much of my past make sense. More than ADHD – and it’s possible to have both. My entire dang family is neurodiverse. Normal is just a dang setting on the dryer for us.
We don’t need to be cured or fixed – and that mentality is very harmful in and of itself. The best way I can get people to think about it is – if we were all the same, life would be boring. Think about the derision on the word “drone”. We don’t need autism awareness. We need autism acceptance.
My writing wouldn’t happen if I were normal. My brain makes leaps and daydreams because of the way it is wired. I’ll be honest – I’ve tried medicating myself to appear neurotypical. My uncle’s comment on it still makes me smile and hits me as so true. “This is how normal people feel? This is boring!”
So at this point, I don’t try to hide my weird. I take meds to help me mitigate the issues that affect my quality of life. There is nothing wrong with that – we wear glasses to help us see. My brain doesn’t make enough serotonin on its own. So I have to use store bought. But I am who I am at this point. I am at the point where anyone’s opinion of me really doesn’t matter.
I am also blessed that my daughter is doing well. We’ve worked hard to get where we are with her. We don’t want her to lose that spark of who she is, and she’s been stubborn enough to defy most odds – even before she was born. Her class at her school has helped her make friends and she loves going to school. With this pandemic, it’s been hard on her because of that love.
I hope that, some day, acceptance replaces awareness.