Small Voice in the Universe 8

Yes, the title is a knock off of Jojo’s “One small voice in the universe.” I just attended two performances of Seussical Jr. this past weekend to watch my son perform in his first musical, and Jojo’s song keeps running through my head probably because it is catchy. Then too, there are times when I feel like I am only one small voice in the universe, dreaming my dreams and trying hard to be heard just like Jojo.

And like the Whos, I sometimes feel like I need to shout, “I am here! I am here!” Like Gertrude McFuzz, the bird with her one feathered tail, I feel I have to get the Hortons of the world to notice me and to realize that I want to help too. Like Horton, I still try to protect those whom others fail to hear, and I endure Sour Kangaroos and others who do not understand. Yes, I too still believe “a person’s a person no matter how small” and no matter how different a person’s a person after all.

Many of my friends in the autism community see autism everywhere and at times I do too, but more often, I see kids who need to learn how to be kind and accepting of others’ differences or at the very least tolerant and respectful.

I see it on Facebook, I see it on Twitter, I see it on T.V., I see it in movies, I see it in real life, and I see it wherever I go, here, there and everywhere. I even see it in adults acting badly. And no, I do not like it, not here, not there, not anywhere!

I continue to dream of a world where kindness is the norm and some of you helped restore my faith in humanity this week by helping Laura Nagle fund her upcoming documentary, Vectors of Autism, which I wrote about on December 2, 2011. Mahalo for helping her to reach her goal!

Many of my loyal supporters also reached out this week via comments on various posts, via Facebook, via Twitter, and even via e-mail to let me know that they still believe in me. A couple of people even called me this week reminding me that although I sometimes feel ineffective, I do have supporters and there are still a few of you listening and even helping to fight bullying and to teach kindness instead. Leigh at Flappiness is… even stopped by and commented. Mahalo to all of you for lifting me up when I was feeling down!

Misfits on the Island of Misfit Toys 22

I love Jess at A Diary of a Mom and Leigh at Flappiness is… too, so I completely understand why all of you love them. I followed Jess closely as she went to the White House and I went with Jess to Harvard and I will be eternally grateful that she took me along. I fell in love with Leigh over her beautiful Apology letter. I too enjoyed #youmightbeanautismparentif and #whatanautismparentneeds. I even added to the #AutismPride although not as eloquently as some of you. Yet, all of you break my heart everyday without realizing it.

My heart breaks because I know my daughter did not have the services your children have. My daughter did not have our understanding when she was little because we did not understand. We tried to get help, but we got the wrong help and during that time damage was done. Then bullying made everything over a hundred times worse. Still, she was on the mend until last year when the bullies rubbed salt in her healing wounds, and an intolerant teacher pushed her over the edge.

Then I convinced her to share her heartbreak and her successes with you, but she never got the support Jess and Leigh get, so she stopped sharing. She realized what I tried not to believe. Too few really care and we cannot make any of you care. We are insignificant.

Bullying is not as interesting as successes shared about cute younger children. There is no way to make it fun because there is nothing fun about it. I hope and pray none of you ever know the heartbreak of trying to help your beautiful children overcome the longterm effects of bullying or worse yet having to bury them because of bullying. I was hoping to help prevent this from happening to you. I now realize I cannot do that because no one is really listening.

We are misfits even on the Island of Misfit Toys.

Helping Fund the Dialogue to Improve Our Children’s Future

Ever feel like you are different, but you lack the sensory sensitivities and musical or artistic gifts of your child on the spectrum? Ever have a bad case of “foot in mouth” syndrome? Do you sometimes feel like you do not belong in either the neurotypical world or the autism world? Maybe someone called you a half-aspie and you decided that is not a bad thing! That’s a new term coined by Laura Nagle, self-described as professionally autistic and an autism advocate, and I’m the one she called half-aspie.

Truth be told that term probably applies to most parents of children on the autism spectrum. Those of us following the dialogue within the autism community know that we are not a cohesive community yet, although many on working towards this goal. We need adults like Laura to help educate the community at large so the world will hopefully be a better place for our children as they become adults.

Laura states on her home page, “True awareness requires some understanding of what autism is…I wish society to go beyond acceptance and on to appreciation.”

Laura found me recently on Twitter through the #youmightbeanautismparentif and #youmightbeanaspieif links. You can follow her @HardAspie, where she shares her hard-earned aspie insights. However, Laura’s story is also being made into a documentary that will add to the autism dialogue and hopefully help the younger generation like my teenage daughter. The short video explains this better than I can, so I hope you will watch it and decide to help fund this.

Laura needs to raise the money by the middle of this month. Consider it as a Christmas gift to our children’s future. Go to Vectors of Autism: A documentary about Laura Nagle — IndieGoGo to contribute.

If You Know About This Twitter Hashtag 4

#youmightbeanautismparentif, You might be an autism parent and even if you aren’t I hope you’ll keep reading and share the tweets on Twitter and share this post on Facebook, Google Plus, etc.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you miss those who decided to stop blogging.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your heart breaks for all the times your child has been misunderstood &/or mistreated.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you have been misunderstood too.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your wish for the future is a kinder, more understanding and supportive world.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you don’t have time for pettiness because you spend your time repairing damage done by misunderstandings & meanness.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your heart breaks because your child did not have support from family, friends or professionals until she was older.

#youmightbeanautismparentif your focus is on educating others so they avoid your mistakes.

#youmightbeanautismparent if you see sensory sensitivities and traits of autism in characters in novels and immediately recognize them as such.

#youmightbeanautismparentif you added more favorites to your Twitter profile in the last two weeks than in the last year including the following:

@spectrummymummy #youmightbeanautismparentif you’re doing the toughest, most rewarding job of your life- and you can never, ever go on #STRIKE.

@anne_barbano #youmightbeanautismparentif you have a beautiful singer in the house!

@spectrummymummy #youmightbeanautismparentif your child doesn’t just march to the beat of their own drum, they dance to their own symphony.

@fcsfinest #youmightbeanautismparentif you’ve felt like reciting this quote, “Autism is not a tragedy…ignorance is.”

@diaryofamom #youmightbeanautismparentif you know that autism is one word, but there is no one autism.

@diaryofamom #youmightbeanautismparentif the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle might want to duck.

@bradsdad #youmightbeanautismparentif you think the world might be a better place if we all were more like our aspies!!

@AutisticSpeaks #youmightbeanautieif you wish people weren’t so hell-bent on curing you and would just let you be who you are!

@AutisticSpeaks #youmighbeanautieif “But you don’t look autistic” was old, like, the first time!

@outoutout #youmightbeanautieif You were frozen out of yet another ‘parent support group’ because you can’t fake NT if you tried. 😦

@SarahMPottratz @msoricel #youmightbeanaspieif #youmightbeanautismparentif you have learned the letters after the name don’t make them an expert.

@BobbiSheahan @manyhatsmommyMI @RaisingASDKids because they started the whole #youmightbeanautismparent thread and they deserve their own #ff for that! ❤

Join in the fun if you haven’t already! Those of you who are not parents of someone on the spectrum, but who still care to learn more can google all three.  People are continuing to add to them, so click on the links to learn more.

Mahalo to Jenny @manyhatsmommyMI who blogs at Many Hats Mommy for starting this and for creating a link for those who want to share the fun on their blogs and to Elise Ronan @RaisingASDKids who blogs at Raising Asperger’s Kids for creating the Twitter hashtag that has kept it going.