Imagine a world where children were accepted by their peers no matter what. They didn’t have to worry about acting, looking, or speaking differently. Kids could be themselves and embrace who they are for life. No bullies would be around to remind them about their quirks and how it does not fit in with the societal norm. This is the world I wish my children and yours could live in, but we don’t. Instead, we need to remind our kids that they are unique individuals and we would not change them.
As a parent of a child with autism, I would never for a minute want to change my son. He is an Aspie. It is just part of who he is, but does not define him. NHL is smart, funny, serious, curious, loves math/science/geeky things, and amazes me each and every day. In almost ten years, he has had to deal with cruelty that I never experience in my 30+ years. It is heart breaking, but I know he will show the world what he can and will be.
Someone in our local autism group posted a link to something that caught my eye. When I clicked over, I was immediately in awe of an amazing man named Brady Rymer. He is a singer who started a project called Love Me For Who I Am. Rymer made an album of songs that was inspired by the children at a New Jersey school that have autism and other related items. Rather than write a summary, I think it is best to watch the video of the story. I know when they talked to a boy at about the 2:00 mark, I had tears in my eyes thanks to his words.
Yes, the words of that one young boy really hit me. He loved the fact that the song talked about not fixing children with autism and loving them for who they are.
When we listened to the songs, both of my boys got the message. My kindergartener even said he loved the words and doesn’t want his brother to change. This truly was music to my ears. Yes, we are buying the MP3s with all of these fantastic songs of acceptance. Here is a great video that they made with all of the kids.
The video shows the beauty of this project and how it can help to raise awareness and acceptance. I, too, hope more people will not try to fix and change my son, but love him for who he is.
Disclosure: The Autism Awareness ribbon icon above was created by Melesse and comes from Wikimedia Commons.