Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Light Up My Blue Suede Shoes

Thanks to TJ Mertz for alerting me to this image --
and congratulations to TJ on his election to the school board!

I've been Elvis-Sighting blogging since mid-2008.

The United Nations first celebrated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in 2008.   This April makes five years of Autism Awareness Day/Month that I've blogged through -- and mostly ignored.  Flipping back through all those Aprils, I've not once used the phrase "Light It Up Blue" for autism.

It's not that I'm opposed to autism awareness.  By all means, let's be aware!  

But let's not be scared, or scare-mongers.  And let's be aware of what people on the autism spectrum are saying about themselves, their lives, and what would make this world a better place.  (Hint: there aren't a lot of light-it-up-blue fans on the spectrum.)  And let's not get stuck in awareness as the be-all and end-all.

There are changes in the wind, when it comes to Autism Awareness / Autism Acceptance.

Adults on the autism spectrum are leading the way -- the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has been promoting Autism Acceptance Month, and there's been some magnificent (and searing) blogging going on.

And those efforts are beginning to echo among other autism-related organizations as well.

Here's what the Autism Society of America had to say on Facebook yesterday:
IT'S NATIONAL AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH! Please help share our message far and wide this April. We must begin to change the national discussion on autism and other developmental disabilities to full acceptance, value and dignity for all who live with autism.
And here's a 2013 Autism Awareness Day quote from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations:
Now is the time to work for a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of affected people and ensure opportunities for them to realize their potential... 
Let us continue to work hand-in-hand with persons with autism spectrum disorders, helping them to cultivate their strengths while addressing the challenges they face so they can lead the productive lives that are their birthright.
I'm glad that 2013 is the year that Elvis.com decided to get in on the act with Photos of Elvis in Blue for Autism Awareness Month.

No blue puzzle pieces on this blog... just Elvis Sightings, blue suede shoes, and celebration of how far we're coming, while recognizing how far we still have to go.