April is a month of Autism Awareness for some. How they manifest that awareness varies – and judgement of other’s runs high and hot. We’re all passionate about Autism – like we’re all passionate about our loved ones. Sometimes passion can put blinders on you though – you wrap yourself up in your passions to protect yourself. Pretty soon you’re carrying a baseball bat and everything looks like a zombie. It’s like living in a fun-house full of mirrors and traps and mazes.
When you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism. It’s not a group journey – it’s very individual and personal. Isolation and miscommunication becomes a way of life. Instead of social groups, you have treatment groups – You know more about your child’s therapists than you do your next-door neighbors. It’s easy to get tunnel vision – because you’re so focused on just getting through the day.
Whatever symbol or icon represents your personal Autism journey, display it proudly without fear of what others have to say. In songwriting, there are a few understood premises that cross over here if you’ll bear with me a moment. There are a finite number of notes and possible arrangements for those notes. It’s all been written before, we just add to it and change it and make it new. The same is true for symbols and icons – so if you identify with the puzzle piece or the infinity symbol or the rainbow or Sheldon Cooper or “The boy who could fly” or “Up the down staircase” or blue lights or unicorns or My Little Pony or Thomas the Tank Engine or Mario Kart or The Great Spaghetti Monster, show it and be proud. People wear religious symbols as jewelry – I don’t follow their religion or understand their attachment to their icons – but I don’t have a say in what they choose to wear. Certainly, if I’m giving that understanding, you can reciprocate with my symbols.
So tattoo something on your hindquarters or buy out the local Cash-mart of blue light bulbs – whatever says what you want to say. The whole point of AWARENESS is CONVERSATION. If you’re talking about Autism, then it worked.
EDUCATE – DON’T HATE