April 2nd is the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. Yaaaaay…awareness, right? No. I’m very aware of autism and all of the heartbreaking crap that goes along with it. I don’t need awareness. No one in my daughter’s family or circle needs awareness. We taught that class, road that train, got the t-shirt, thank-you-very-much. I don’t need a blue frigging light bulb from Home Depot to remind me that my kid is autistic. I definitely don’t feel the need to advertise from it my front porch. Also, here’s an interesting fact…
Light It Up Blue is an initiative started by the organization Autism Speaks.
The co-founder of Home Depot, Bernard Marcus donated $25 million to launch Autism Speaks and was a long-time board member of Autism Speaks. Handy, that.
There have long been people who say that Autism Speaks is an organization that does more harm than good to the autistic community.
My internet autism groups are full of dispute. Yes, celebrate it. No, don’t. I personally don’t see April as a month to celebrate autism, or any month, for that matter. I live, breathe, eat and sleep autism and have every damned day for the last 16 years. If there’s something to celebrate here, man..show it to me already.
My daughter suffers on a daily basis, every day of her life. Bright lights hurt her, loud noises hurt her. Strangers and strange places scare her. At 17 she functions at a Kindergarten to first grade level. She will always live at home with me or else be at the mercy of strangers. She will always be vulnerable to those with bad intent. She cannot be “cured”. Wow..this is awesome! Hand me that blue light bulb!
So on April 3rd…after all of the blue bulbs are changed back to white, will autism be cured? Nope. To me it’s just a token to show that you’re marginally socially aware. Do people have good intentions? Sure. But do I want to “celebrate”? No, I do not. My kid doesn’t need awareness, she needs acceptance.