Then I read a post called The Autism ShoutOut! by Sunday Stilwell at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood. Sunday is a wonderful blogger who is also in the autism parenting jungle. She explains why she is not participating in the shutdown, instead choosing to use the opportunity to promote autism awareness. I thought that sounded like a good idea, maybe even a better idea. But I hadn't really decided until I read John Elder Robison, Aspergian and autism advocate, on Facebook this morning:
They are on the same day because one was in reaction to the other. Like you, I support all groups of people on the spectrum. But today, I am not quiet because my goal for my son is communication (spoken, signed, or otherwise). And, when he cannot speak for himself, I will do my best to speak for him.So today, I am not quiet. I am thankful that I have the power of my voice to help my son find his. I hope that I can use my words to support others who are raising and teaching children with autism.
Last year, Eric Duquette graduated from high school as salutatorian. He has autism, and his speech has been an inspriation to many. Duquette said, "Daniel Webster wrote that 'if my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest....For me, learning to communicate did mean regaining all the rest."
I couldn't have said it better myself.