Monday, December 5, 2011

Say it Loud and Say it Proud!

I've never, ever liked the bumper stickers people have on their, of course, bumpers that read "My Child is an Honor Roll Student at Whatever School". They didn't have those back in my school days, and my mom would never have put it on her car's bumper to begin with ("Bumper stickers are trashy!" she would say.) I always felt they were a bit braggish, and extremely corny. I have to admit when some smart ass came up with the "My kid can kick your Honor Student's ass" bumper stickers in rebellion, I enjoyed those a little more, but they were even trashier!

Having said that, I just put a "window cling" (a much classier option than a bumper sticker someone has decided) that reads "My Child is an Honor Roll Student at F---- Middle School" in the rear window of my company car (hope the boss never notices). Casey brought the "cling" home along with a nifty black ribbon that said the same and a letter from the principal extolling the virtues of our magnificent student who maintained a B+ average this first marking period. I am beaming with pride, and thus felt so inclined to apply the "cling" to the let world know he is in fact, on the Honor Roll!

My whole mindset it seems, has changed, I'm realizing more and more over the past several months. The "cling" represents the different outlook I have on Casey. Gone are the days of Autism Awareness ribbons slapped on the back of my car for all the world so to see. I want the world to see we have an Honor Roll Student in my car, and not someone they should pity, or be curious of or worse, be frightened of.

I want people to know we have a boy who has been on a soccer league, a baseball league, taken dance and briefly, piano lessons. I want people people to know that our boy can skate with full hockey gear on, that he swims on a swim team and has won ribbons for doing so. It doesn't matter what kind of league, or team, it just matters that he's done them. I want people to know he creates brilliant animated shorts on the computer and can write stories, and can comprehend what he reads, and understands what is said to him. I want people to know he's hilarious.

Yes, the colorful Autism Awareness ribbons are gone. I don't want his Autism to define him at all, and in fact, I don't want to define Autism anymore to people when they learn somehow he has it. Frankly, I don't even care to use the word "Autism" unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm not ashamed to use it, but I have never known a word that can suck the life out of a situation or conversation like Autism often does. You may or may not understand that but trust me. I might get some flack for that one, but it's my blog.

And so, my joy and pride in applying my cling, despite my former feelings on honor roll student advertisements, may be more acceptable and better understood now. He is a person on the honor roll and so,so much more!