I’ve been thinking about throwing in the towel on this whole autism thing. You know, trying to educate the whole world how to treat or not treat my son is exhausting and scary. And you know what? My child, despite his differences, is really not all that different. Then again, he will never be the same as someone else with or without autism.
If you’ve been reading here any amount of time, you know that I want to make people aware of what autism looks like in my house. To educate about what kinds of things are part of our daily life, what to look for, what to expect, the delays, the hard, funny, easy, heart warming and frustrating parts of it all that make up our life. To bring about understanding.
Autism, as it is defined in my son’s world, is different than autism anywhere else. My son loves to play with cars. He may not narrate navigating his remote control cars through the house, but he can race and turn those cars better than I could ever hope to. He loves to play Wii games. He might start over when he feels like the game is not quite right, but he can still unlock and level up before I even understand what he’s doing.
He likes to swing, climb and bounce like any other kid his age. He loves french fries, ice cream and chocolate cupcakes. He loves trendy clothes and hanging with a friend.
He will climb on his mama’s lap and ask me to read him a story. He wants to go to Disneyland and to be like his Daddy. He plays drums like a rock star. He dances. He sings. He plays with bath toys. He is smart and, like most kids, he has his talents and his weaknesses. No different from his peers.
But there are major differences at the same time. His mannerisms, his time to respond when addressed, his fears, his ability to perceive, to smell, to judge distance are different. But all children have differences, some are afraid of monsters or the dark. Everyone has their differences.
My son speaks differently and sparingly. But because of that, when he does speak, people listen. And like anything that is rare, his words are valued and beautiful.
So, yes, this autism thing, makes my son different. Even in difference, there is still a common denominator. Funny, that in everything, everywhere, including autism, one common denominator will always be that we’re different.
Differences in our humanity can be beautiful when we look with love. I love my son with every ounce of my being. But in the world – out there – there is a desensitized majority that don’t understand my son is different yet the same. They don’t understand the enormous value of my son’s life. That there is nothing greater than that life to me.
There is a 23 old autistic young man who needs a heart transplant right now. One I first heard about from my friend at Unlocking Doors, in this post. I am appalled and horrified that because this young man would require assistance to maintain many drugs required for transplants, or will have trouble understanding his healing process and what is required of him, he is being denied the right to a heart transplant.
To a desensitized, unfeeling, removed part of the world – out there – his life is discardable.
You can help change that by signing a petition when you click here.
There are a lot of people online, who talk about autism, who want to bond, share, support, love, give and nurture. To feel part of a group. Because, no matter who we are, we also have that commonality, to validate how we feel through others. The vast majority of us, have the desire to be “good”, to “do” good and to help each other.
Why, then does it, so often, go wrong?
Maybe, in trying to bond and be helpful, we forget individuality. Trying to unite us all under one banner to spread “good”, we sometimes, assume similarities that don’t fit.
Oops. Forgetting our differences takes us back to misunderstanding and that can make people mad. And when people get mad, they say stuff. Ego may take control in which case, a tenuous connection that united, goes up in a poof of smoke. It’s erased. Gone.
We may not always agree. We may make mistakes that cause us to detach from others. But on this issue of life and death? No amount of seemingly plausible reasoning can make this anything but wrong. Letting a young man die rather than give him a new heart because he requires help to take medications, to understand how to help himself heal after surgery, is unacceptable.
Putting aside petty differences, disagreements, misunderstandings our community can bond to help save a life.
Is there a better reason?
Let’s do it together. As one. Sign to save this young man’s life. Bonus! We recognize our strength when we unite – no strife – just a selfless act. And, just maybe, we can all find some peace.