As I have been scrolling through my Twitter feed this week, or have been checking my Facebook timeline, it has been pretty overwhelming to see all of the posts about wearing blue today, or about using blue lights to illuminate your house or some other structure. For a dad who has made it a primary focus in my life, the increased acknowledgements of autism and autism awareness is wonderful.
Kaitlyn helped remind Amber and I last night about wearing blue today, and she was so proud to wear her blue today as well. As she gets older and starts to learn more about herself and about what having autism (Asperger’s) means, we want her to know that she can come to us with any questions she has, and come to us with any concerns she might have. We want her to be able to share what she knows about autism with friends and family, too.
Continuing to raise awareness is very important, but also important is increasing understanding. Understanding of people on the spectrum, and understanding of those who care for autistic loved ones on a daily basis. We are working with Kaitlyn on her understanding of others with autism, too. We have been teaching her that not all people with autism are like her; there are some, like her, who are gifted and advanced intellectually, and there are those who are non-verbal and have more challenges, and those who fall somewhere in between.
From the bottom of my heart, and with humble gratitude, I very much appreciate the impact people are making today by wearing blue and lighting up their houses blue, or seeing that their Capitol building is blue, or their favorite stadium or landmark. Gestures, words, and even the smallest actions make a huge difference.