World autism day is in two weeks. It may or may not make it onto a meme, and you’ll be asked to share for at least one hour, and I’ll know who my true friends are by those who also post this update for an hour.
STOP!!! Good god, could you get any more passive aggressive?! Great way to guilt someone into posting a stupid meme or update that no one, other than those who share to ease their own guilt or because they have really huge hearts, reads or cares about.
Look. Leaving a status update up for an hour, supporting the understanding and compassion about what life is like with autism is all fine and dandy, but it changes nothing about the mindset of the ignorant. In fact, they’re not even reading those memes or updates. Neither am I and my kid has autism and my friends kids have autism. I hate those updates and I loathe those memes. They’re a waste of my time and yours. No one is reading them and those who post them are doing so with good intentions but it’s not necessary.
Autism is great, crappy, horrible, awkward, uncomfortable, joyous, shitty, depressing, soul sucking, awe inspiring, amazing to live with. But a status update won’t change the minds of people who are shitty and without compassion (the people who would still, in this day, call my kid a retard). And it also doesn’t show how compassionate, supportive, and understanding you actually are. All those updates are? A means to make you feel shitty. If you don’t share it then you obviously are horrible.
You’re not horrible. You don’t need to share. No one is even reading it.
If you want to change their minds, or if you want to be supportive, then share interesting videos about what life is like with autism. Share stories about the amazing things people with autism do. Share the horror stories that people with autism live with. Donate money to a local autism support centre or school and tell people about the great things that charity is doing (heck – tell people about that great charity without donating). Tell your friend who has a loved one with autism or has autism themselves that if there’s anything they ever need that you’d love to help if you can. Tell them honestly, too, that you don’t understand their struggles, if they have any, but you’d love to help and you’d love to get to know them better.
Sharing a status update, which probably isn’t even during autism awareness day or month (which isn’t as often as those memes and updates would have you believe) gets lost in the fold of everyone’s pictures, updates, memes, and videos. No one is paying attention and once they figure out what it is you’re saying, they’ll move on.
If you want to share those updates and memes, go right ahead. But if you don’t see others, including autism parents, sharing it, know it’s not because we don’t care, it’s because we know they fall on deaf ears and eyes, including our own, and that that’s not the way to get a message across. Life isn’t a chain letter. Jesus won’t save a kid because the picture got so many likes and shares. Sorry. Pray and offer your services instead. It’ll be much more appreciated.