April was spent at Find My Eyes hosting guest blogs for Autism Awareness Month. I set out a goal to get new voices, or under represented voices, heard in the autism community. I feel it was a success.
It was fun to play editor/moderator for a month, but, more importantly, it was quite valuable.
Managing a project like this actually took a lot of work and time.
So, why did I do it?
My goal was to raise autism awareness by hearing new voices. All of us bloggers realistically write about the same old stuff. We've all written (or will write) the IEP story, the first diagnosis story, to medicate or not medicate story, the public meltdown story, etc. What makes them different? What makes you have a favorite blogger? It's at least one of three things 1) Voice 2) Perspective 3) Circumstance
It makes us loyal readers. It's who we look to for either entertainment or information.
It's who we want to share with others.
It's who we look to "raise awareness".
I would love to say I have a gigantic following that I am helping educate and raise awareness among (and I hope I have done so), but the truth is, I'm only trying to raise awareness for one person.
And that is my son.
Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog post called "Tomorrow is a Long Time" about fearing the moment that I would have to tell Jack he was autistic. Take a moment to read it, if you can. That is how I felt last year.
In the very near future, My wife and I will sit Jack down and tell him.
I will tell him and show him that 33 people (some of which he's never met), care about him. 33 people took the time out of their days to write. They took the time to help.
I write this blog to inform/entertain/advocate on Jack's behalf.
But I do not have the power to change the world. I do not have the skills to change the world.
One of Julie's bosses said this about Jack: "That kid. He's fascinating. Whenever he's around I just can't take my eyes of him. I wish I had the power to command a room like that."
In the near future, I hope to make Jack a part of this blog. I truly can not wait to get his perspective on autism. He is an amazing, endearing, and commanding kid. Those skills will serve him well.
And if he does not want to be a part of this blog, I will bid you all adieu.
The next logical step for me is advocacy for my son, and Find My Eyes is going to head in that direction.
Honestly, there is little more I can do to raise awareness, that becomes your job, Jack.
Self advocacy is your birth right, not mine.
I have no doubts that you will change the world, my son.
Until you do, I will continue to try my hardest to stand between you and harm's way in all the dark places you must travel.