April is Autism awareness month, and I'm very sad to say that a good friend is taking a (hopefully not permanent) hiatus from blogland to focus on the upcoming needs of her son who will be leaving school soon. Casdok has been a wonderful resource and an encouraging friend.
She posted this on her last entry (not sure if she is the author, so forgive me if I don't attribute it correctly), and I think it sums up the lives our children are living so very aptly.
I don’t want to be treated like a child.
I want respect.
I don’t want to be ‘trained’.
I want the opportunity to grow.
I don’t want to fester in a local day service, or in a home.
I want to be an active member of the community.
I don’t want pity or patronizing.
I want to be valued.
I don’t want neglect or abuse.
I want to feel safe.
I don’t want lack of resources to be an excuse.
I want a creative approach.
I don’t want institutionalised staff.
I want people who really care.
I don’t want people being complacent about my behaviour.
I want to be nurtured.
I don’t want special services.
I want opportunity.
I don’t want to ‘fit’ into existing services.
I want choice.
I don’t want to miss out because of risk assessment.
I want some fun.
I don’t want to be cured.
I want acceptance.
I don’t want charity.
I want integrity and dignity.
I don’t want to be disabled by society.
I just want what everyone else has.
I'm going to miss you, Friend. Don't be a stranger!