It is almost April again {A letter to my son}

Dear Son,

It is almost April again.

Almost that time of year when it is cool and trendy to be *aware* of Autism and to support that awful Autism Speaks driven money grabbing “light it up blue” campaign.

Almost time to brace ourselves for the inspiration porn filled social media feeds telling us how amazing “people with Autism” are despite all their suffering, and the equally icky opposite message about how Autism is a puzzle that causes so much desperation in the lives of the entire families it damages.

And I am cringing because those are not messages I want you to hear.

I do not want you to hear that people think of you as a puzzle or problem to be solved.

I do not want you to feel that to get where you want to be in life people will need to be “aware” of you.

I do not want you hear that you have ruined my life.

I do not want you to feel like you are a burden to society that needs to be addressed.

Because you are none of those things.

You are not a problem, a puzzle, a cause, a disaster or a burden.

You are a person. A valuable and valued human being.

You are my child, who I love unconditionally. You are the child I longed for, the baby I wanted, the toddler I cherished, the growing person I enjoy being with, the young adult I happily advocate for and am so very proud of.

If I could protect you from the world that would see you as anything other than wonderful, I would. But I can’t. It is there…. big and ugly and unwilling to hear the message of acceptance. They prefer to categorise and distance and fear. I can’t protect you from that. All I have are my words and my actions to tell you that to me you are amazing just as you are. I hope you hear me. And I hope it is enough to overcome all the damage those other messages can cause.

I love you.


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