Tuesday, April 15, 2008

autism awareness and a smile

april 15 2008

I haven't been blogging a lot this last week.

I had too much on my mind, with the application for a school rejected for one of the girls. And some other issues.

I just needed to divert my energy in another direction and created two dutch blogs.
(I'm using the name Holly, to give my children the privacy they deserve. So be careful when you comment.)

One to improve the situation for autistic children in my hometown.

And one: "Action for Autism", to enhance awareness, comment on all sorts of situations that aren't right, vent ideas all over the place, motivate other people to take action, etc etc.
There are two other Action for Autism sites, one in England and one in India.
Wouldn't it be great to connect international and national initiatives?

The number of people with an autism spectrum disorder is growing.

I'm not at all sure we're dealing with disorders here. Not in all cases.
Many of these people have strong and weak characteristics, like us all.

Their weakness is defined in the areas of communication and socialisation.
They have a different way of perceiving and processing information, so they have difficulty dealing with the way information is handled at schools.
But a growing number mean we are getting more children with a disorder, or does it mean it's time we change the way our society works and the way schools are aimed at the average student.

Maybe we should even start to reconsider our way of thinking about other human beings.

I've found many people tell me autistic people are not contributing to society.
They sure have made me feel more accepting about people who want to be or are unique(including myself).
Do we give people who are different enough opportunities to be themselves?

Does a higher level of education really mean that the person is better, more contributing, more valuable?

I was at the school of the girls yesterday.
All the pupils crowded the halls and classrooms.
Some were talking about the latest fashion, showing off their shoes.
Others were talking about the traffic exam taking place this week, and some boasted about the school they were admitted at.

Slowly it got more silent.
Doors closed and the corridors were empty.

Then a teacher stepped out of the classroom and shouted a name.
"I'm coming", I heard.

A boy walked my way.
"I hope she didn't shout too hard for you.
I'm autistic and I'm always late.
People say I'm too slow for this world."

He gave me a bright smile.
"You're the mom of the twins, aren't you?
Your boys are autistic too, so you know what people say."

"Yea, I sure do.
But I also know something else.
You're doing the best you can.
Last year you didn't dare to look at me, let alone speak with me.
Boy, you have the brightest smile I've ever seen,
and you've warmed my heart.

No one did that today.
No teacher, no child.

You just cherish that gift of making people happy,
and keep your smile ready for people who want to see it.

Many people forget to smile.
Tell you teacher and your mom you took the time to make someone happy with your smile."

He went to the classroom and I went with him. Told his teacher we had a very important chat and that he wasn't late at all.
He just took the time for something that was very important.

I don't care what that teacher thought.
But on my way home I was singing on my bicycle.


1 comment:

  1. I love your blog. I have an extreme interest in child health, psychology and developmental disorders and your blog satisfies all of the above. I currently work at a home for children with developmental disorders and have begun blogging to bring attention to recent news pieces on such. Keep up the wonderful work..



Thank you for your comment.