Behind starburst eyes

Time will tell

on April 2, 2013

It is now officially Autism Awareness Day. The world is becoming more and more aware, heck even the Eiffel Tower is going to be lit up blue for it. But as I read on a Face book page (I forget who’s it was, Sorry!) Awareness is not the same as acceptance. I want more than just awareness, I want acceptance.

My son’s friend at dance is now aware that he has Autism. I know this because yesterday a very morose child got in my vehicle after dance practice. After several questions about if he was weird or bad for having Autism, what exactly causes Autism, he finally told me. “B” knows I’m Autistic.” I asked him how he felt and his answer hurt “I don’t want anyone to know. When they know they look at me like I’m a freak and they treat me different. They don’t want to be friends with me anymore.” Oh how my heart broke because of his honesty. I asked how he knew that “B” knew, and was told that “B” said “I know you’re Autistic, “L” told me”

Now only time will tell if “B” will still want to be friends with my son. Only time will show if he can be more than just aware, if he can be accepting that C is still the same child he told his mom was one of his best friends last week (I overheard him and wanted to shout from the rooftops but refrained, mind you just barely and only because I’m far to clumsy to be climbing onto rooftops safely)
Now as for this adult who to be clear was not myself, C’s dad, nor any member of my family. But was in fact someone that worked at the dance company (according to C’s recounting of “B”s story which of course means I will most certainly be having a discussion with said adult tomorrow)

Why did this adult feel the need to disclose this information? How on earth was this helpful? I’m not bothered that people know about C being Autistic, it’s a part of him. It’s not going away. I can give him coping mechanisms, and tips, teach him societal norms, and how to read body language but he’ll always be Autistic. His brain is simply hard-wired a specific way and while I might be able to teach him how to “blend in” should he choose to want to do that; an apple is an apple no matter if you paint it orange. I’m bothered that C didn’t get the chance to choose for this boy, this child he was trying to form a friendship with at dance to know, because sadly he’s right. People do often look at him differently and I can’t blame him for wanting to be judged based on himself and not on someone’s misinformed preconceived notions of what a specific label means about a person.

2 responses to “Time will tell

  1. Cassandra says:

    Thank you for this! Acceptance really is the key. Everyone can say they know what Autism is but what our kiddos, us as their parents and all people with disabilities need is acceptance. Part of the acceptance is knowing when to not say something when it’s not your place! I really hope that you’re able to talk to the adult who felt the need to discuss your son’s Autism with another child amd educate that person about how it’s not nice to tell personal things about other people without their permission. I always thought that was common sense! I just found your fb page and blog last night and I love it!

  2. Cassandra,
    Thank-you for reading it 😀
    It’s so true acceptance is what we’re all truly after. The person wasn’t in today so I’ll be heading over tomorrow to discuss this because obviously they need help to understand what they should and should not be discussing with other children about my child. Funny enough I saw an obituary for Common Sense a few years ago, it was hilarious, because while it was satire it really did highlight how uncommon common sense seems to have become.
    Thanks! 😀

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