Not with the military (we won’t be moving with the military for at least another 2-3 years OMG I will be at the same address for over 6 years WOW!), but I got picked up by American Military Family Autism Support has their editor-in-chief. It’s a 5-day a week blog job, and so I don’t have time to maintain this blog and that blog. Additionally, I will be also maintaining a professional diet and fitness blog for crowd source shortly. I am in doing the last bit of writing submissions before I’m hired, but this job is a paid writing job, with potential for freelance work to be picked up by magazines :). So I am going to close this bad Johnny down. If you would like to read more of my work, I will be moving to a professional blog– also look for me on Twitter (not so much), Facebook, and Instagram– Jodisgoing180. Until then– good-bye.
If you ask me my opinion on Autism Speaks, it will be followed with a reference to their non-profit tax information, and how they are horrible example of greed gone bad in organizations that are supposed to advocate for people with autism. They make these fancy commercials, great pamphlets for newly diagnosed families, and bring a LOT of awareness to autism, BUT they also think that people with autism should be shoved on an island, they fund a lot of research that promotes eugenics, and there President (already a millionaire) gets paid around $600K for her work with Autism Speaks, not to mention there is NOT ONE AUTISTIC on the board of directors. I question how an organization can say they speak for autistics, when there are NO autistics on the board!!!!
That being said, my son’s school sold light bulbs for “Light It Up Blue,” all the proceeds go towards the scholarship program, which gives children who may not have access to ABA therapy, get the therapy they so desperately need. I will support that. So I did what many parents, family members, and even a few autistics do, I screwed in my lightbulbs in front of my house. My neighbors thought I was nuts. A few asked me why, I was changing my lightbulbs from the incandescent to blue. Surely, they see my son outside, in the driveway, laying on his favorite gray blanket every weekday after school, playing with his connectors. And that’s why I light it up blue. Not because I render support to Autism Speaks. I light it blue, because someone saw I was doing something different, and asked me about it. It gave me a chance to explain the challenges I face. The challenge of raising and educating a little boy, that the school district didn’t want to educate anymore. The challenge of having to gird my loins every time I go to any kind of social situation. The challenge I have when someone calls me, and then I rewind my entire week to make sure I didn’t do something wrong, and the reason they are calling is because they just want to talk to me. The challenge I face knowing that as my child is growing up, he really isn’t growing up. He is 10, and he still behaves similarly to a 3-year-old (that’s REALLY terrifying to me). The challenge and worry I have that knowing my child is vulnerable, and will probably always be vulnerable.
Besides the challenges, I can also share our triumphs. How he loves to run. How he has a sense of humor that surprises and enlightens everyone he comes in contact with. How he is an individual and not a label. How I look forward to waking him up every morning to go to school, because I get rock out to either Queen, Lady Gaga, or Metallica. How despite teachers saying that there was no way I could do it, I graduated from college with honors, how I got married, and how I became a mom. And being Ryan’s mom is my biggest success ever.
Today is the start of autism awareness and autism action month. I am directly affected by autism, because I am autistic, and I am raising a child on the autism spectrum. I have a disorder called Aspergers disorder. Though many people tell me that I don’t appear to be autistic, or I don’t appear to have a lot of symptoms. I have been dealing with autism for around 38 years, and I have learned to adapt my symptoms, so that they are not readily apparent. Just ask my dad, when I was a preteen and he had to carry me to the car, because I had an irrational fear of earthworms. Ask my mom about all the irrational fears and anxieties I had growing up. Ask my husband why I know every character in Star Wars to include minor characters. Ask my bosses when I was in the Air Force, and how I would go off on a seemingly meaningless tangent. My son’s autism is visible, you can look at him and tell he has autism. Mine is not. I was misdiagnosed with anxiety disorders, depression, and even PTSD. I do not have any of those syndromes. I have autism.