Today I want to talk more about Autism Speaks. I will frequently mention my Walk Now for Autism Speaks Walk Fund at the end of my posts, but I don’t do much more than a sentence.
So here’s the deal. Autism is a mysterious thing. It is a difficult concept to grasp. This is a problem.
There is a group of people that do not thrive under the same circumstances as most people. Have you ever heard of the concept that the blue I see may not be the blue you see? Your blue may look like my green. So who decides what is blue? The same thing that has been shaping society for all time…public opinion. The greater majority.
This is good. The greater majority will always struggle for what is best for the majority of people. With the greater majority you get a greater good.
So what happens if you are not a part of the greater majority? Unfortunately, you have to convince the greater majority that you are relevant.
The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights, Disability Rights Act. These are all products of that. A minority was able to convince the majority that they were relevant.
But the greater majority is always settling back into its default…greater good for the majority. No minority is secure under this mechanism. The struggle will endure until either that minority disappears or until it becomes the majority. It is the way of society.
But that does not mean society is not capable of greater good for the minorities. Handicap parking, wheelchair access, women’s right to vote, and equal opportunity employment are all achievements that required the backing of the greater majority.
So, back to Autism Speaks. They are the largest organization involved with our minority movement. Who are they fighting for?
A minority whose blue is not your blue. Who whither where you would thrive. Who can see the world in a way we cannot, and therefore have trouble thriving in the world we have focused on.
Autism does not mean Tyler will have a set list of things he can and cannot do. No other member of his minority will be like him. But he needs extra help to learn how to navigate our crazy, visual, and social world. This is not who he is. He is not greater majority. But he is relevant and I must join with other tired, frustrated, and loving parents to prove to the greater majority that our children are relevant.
There are infinite ways to try to do this but not all of them are effective or helpful. I choose to use a variety of methods, but supporting Autism Speaks is a solid investment that I want to make towards my son and all families living with autism.
Their website (www.autismspeaks.org) says this:
“Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Their longtime friend Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead.”
They have solid goals that I can understand and support. They are probably one of Tyler’s best chances at being heard by the greater majority.
If you believe all children are relevant, if you support minorities, if you support what myself or Autism Speaks is doing, then I would like to thank you.
If you would like to also help us with our goals, please consider a donation to my Walk Fund for Autism Speaks.
From my heart,
(C) Rachel Flinchum 7/30/2013