I was in the drive thru line at Tim’s today and the van in front of me had an autism awareness ribbon on the back. I remembered that I don’t have one anymore.
And thought I should put one back on.
The message is simple. But so strong.
Embrace Engage Enable Expand Express
I also bought 2 car magnets and a some beautiful pewter keychains that read:
Part of our world. Not a world apart.”
I wore my wristband. I had the magnet on my van and my keys were kept together with the keychain.
Then one day, 2 summers ago, we were driving down the 407 and a car drove beside us. On it there were several bumper stickers and awareness magnets – about 7. All had a rainbow on them. One was for PFLAG, another read “I love my gay son” (I will refrain from the “Heathers” reference…or not)
And perhaps it was because this woman had so many stickers and magnets on her vehicle, but it just seemed like she was advertising that her son was gay.
I said to Sean “Are we advertising that Cuyler has autism by having the magnet?”
In usual fashion Sean shrugged and said “I dunno”
I took the magnet off.
I always wondered if people who saw the magnet would look at us and wonder which kid was autistic.
When I see a vehicle with a magnet, I wonder if they have a child with autism or if they know a family affected by autism and are showing their support. So maybe not everybody would look at us and wonder which kid it is. Most wouldn’t be able to tell anyways (unless they spent a good chunk of time with my kids).
After a few years the wristband came off and the keychain broke and I didn’t replace it.
Over the years I have seen so many different autism awareness items. Some I just would feel awkward wearing or handing out. I just figure if someone is ignorant enough to judge my child’s behaviour, they’re not going to take the time to read the card and take time to understand (or would they?).
I think, after awhile, my aversion to the awareness items came out of fear.
I was afraid that he would be defined by this disorder.
It is not who he is. Just a part of who he is.
Just like Cam is not defined as a red head and Eva is not defined by her manny. It’s just small part of what makes them…them.
This morning, after my Tims run I closed my trunk saw that we have a hockey stick magnet on the back of our van with Cam’s hockey team name on it. Never really paid much attention to it until today.
I came in and ordered some new magnets. Autism Awareness magnets. I’ll be putting one back on the van. I’m over it.
I love my charming, silly, gorgeous, autistic, smart, funny little boy.
I’ll tell the world.
I’ll shout it from the mountaintops.
Or just say it quietly with a magnet on my van.
Besides, it seems like every other vehicle you see has some type of support/awareness magnet (and are about 80% of them autism awareness??)
What have you got on your vehicle? Do you support any causes or groups with a car magnet?