The Great Color Debate

Dearest Spectrumites,

It’s about halfway through April and I don’t know about you but all of this awareness/acceptance is making me cranky. Right about this point in April I get tired of Autism and I just want to focus on the daily hurdles of autism. I feel overloaded by facts and figures. I’m tired of unpacking the terminology of research. I don’t care what color shirt you wear or post to your wall. I’m two weeks into watching The Great Color Debate of 2017 and I have had enough!

Don’t get me wrong. I carry my autism card with pride. I live it, work it, speak it, and write it. I am proud to be living a successful life on the spectrum. But, I am embarrassed. Once a year, our community gets put in the spotlight. We spend a lot of energy all year long preparing for this one month when the world turns its gaze to our community. We prepare for our turn to teach the cues on language and behavior much as we demand inclusion and equality. We determine how we will communicate that we are different not less. We get our ducks in a row because April is our chance to shine as a community and show the world who we are while they are paying attention. Now I ask you, do you think we as community provide that during April? Are we doing our best to set an example for the world?

I’m not so sure. I see a lot of us trying to share our experiences and even more of us vulnerably opening up in an effort to be understood. I see many events celebrating our uniqueness and raising money for needed supports. But, I also see a lot of in-fighting. I see mixed messages and name calling. I see fights being picked and the internet becoming a minefield of negativity created by our own community members. I see light it up blue versus red instead vs tone it down taupe. I see endless hours of wasted energy arguing and insulting each other. Why? What could this possibly achieve? How is it helpful? The truth? It’s not. It quite simply isn’t.


The Great Color Debate Becca Lory CAS, BCCS Consultant Speaker Author Advocate Life Coach

The Great Color Debate Becca Lory CAS, BCCS Consultant Speaker Author Advocate Life Coach

Spectrumites, with my quickly fading April energy, I simply ask you to save April. With our last two weeks of the one month we are designated, let’s make every effort to show the world who we really are as a community. Let’s show them our smarts, our talent, our quirks, and our humor. Let them like us so they can learn to love us. Let’s respect each other so that we will be respected. Let’s discuss the issues using fact not opinion. Let’s educate. Let’s advocate. Let’s celebrate. We are a community of people who have passion about our cause spilling out of our pores. Let the world see that! Let the world know that we love and we struggle much as they do, it just looks different. Come on guys! Gather your strength and your information. Go out and educate, not retaliate.

If you want supports, this is the month to show what proper supports can do. If you want funding, this is the month to show how it can be used effectively. If you want awareness, be the awareness you want. If you want acceptance, be the acceptance you want. This is it. You have two weeks to shine Autism Community, then we are in May, and it’s back to the daily grind of the autism. We have plenty of time to disagree and be ugly the other 11 months out of the year. When the world has moved on for 2017, and April is but a distant memory, we will once again be solely reliant on the very same people who are wearing the wrong color shirt for April.

Autistically Yours,
Becca ^-^