All I want for Christmas is autism acceptance.
That’s right. Acceptance for every autistic individual.
You’re probably thinking, that’s a lot to ask for and in a way it is. I know not everyone accepts autism. I know there are dark parts of the internet where people preach for cures. Books in libraries on cures and life threatening treatments. I’m not blind and I think it’s sickening. I don’t agree with these kind of people. Autism is neurological. It is as much part of a person as the air we breathe and the water we drink. There is no cure.
I want autism acceptance.
I want it for your child and for mine.
I want parents and caregivers to stop publicly humiliating their kids with their most intimate, private parts of their lives.
To quit downgrading and underestimating them.
To stop infantilizing them.
I want the complaining to stop about how one’s autistic child is the reason they (the parent) are so tired, depressed, and unhappy. The whole making your child feel like a burden is not okay.
I want the preaching for cures to cease.
I want autism to stop being referred to as a disease or sickness.
Even if for one day, which I will pray turns into every day, I just want all of the negative and ableist views to stop.
I want a world where I don’t have to worry about your autistic child and mine reading a book or blog about how horrible autism is to one person- that person being a parent or caregiver.
I want a world where they can hear and read about autism and think how beautiful and wonderfully made they are.
That just because they are different, doesn’t make them less.
I want a world where there is respect, kindness, and love for autistic individuals.
A world where they are safe and not probed and researched for cures.
A world where they can just be.
I want a world where awareness doesn’t cost an autistic person their dignity, but instead opens people’s eyes as to how life with an autistic child/adult can be happy.
How it is possible given the right tools and support, life can be good.
How when you presume competence and don’t set limits on your child, they will accomplish so much.
How if you allow yourself to completely and unconditionally accept and love an autistic person- whether it’s your own child, a family member, or another person’s loved one, you will be changed forever. And for the better.
For Christmas, I want autism acceptance.
I understand in order for that to happen, there needs to be awareness, but awareness is so much more than speaking of how autism is hard for the parent. It’s hard for the child or adult who is autistic. We need to make it more about them than us with an emphasis on their strengths. We need to bring awareness by instilling into parents of newly diagnosed children that it’s going to be okay, to not lose hope, keep finding the joy, and know that they will love their child no matter what. Their child is perfect as they were born and don’t need changed.
To bring acceptance, we need to continue to spread awareness with the upmost respect to autistic individuals.
It’s a paradigm shift. It isn’t the popular one, but it is the right one and every day it is shifting more and more. A shift I’m proud to be apart of and proud to know and surround myself with others who are like minded.
And maybe, just maybe one day, we will ask ourselves why it was ever done any other way.
That is the day I hope I am still alive to see. That is the day I dream about, hope for, grasp for..
It’s what your kid and my kid deserves.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
From my family to yours.