The Autism Walk

Today We Walked

And our walk was for Autism,
for inclusion and support
and awareness and acceptance.
But the shirts we saw, the slogans we heard
were mixed. Some walked in support
and some walked in frustration
(frustration I truly do understand as a parent.)
"X Stomps on Autism" one group's sign said,
loud and clear. Stomp out autism.

But I do not want to stomp out my son,
or his gifts, not even his challenges.
I want the world to see him for who he is,
yes, and accept that there's a world
we neurotypicals know nothing of,
and wonder what gifts these differences will bring.

I would have thought an event
where surely they expected
an autistic presence (children, teens, adults)
would have cared about inclusion,
would have thought twice
about blaring disco music at the starting line.

I actually feared worse, tho. A few minutes of too-loud music
we could pass by. The shirts and signs
were what bothered me most,
in the end. And the only way
I know to counter it is to keep
walking my own walk, loud and proud,
with love and acceptance.

And write some letters, asking
for less loud music next time.