After a big year last year, I’ve been intentionally decreasing my time engaging in activism projects. This year I’ve been playing on instagram, writing a tiny bit, working on business ideas, and hanging with my kids and our friends more. The space has given me an opportunity to notice something amazing happening in my local community.
Every day more families with autistic children are taking them out of school, out of therapy and out of ‘special needs’ programs. In natural parenting, homeschool, unschool, and gentle parenting groups online, I meet more of us than ever before, finding our place away from the mainstream where we have been hurt and our children attempted to be moulded in ways we don’t want.
At the same time, in unschooling and natural parenting communities, even where suspicion of medical professionals and therefore their labels is (rightly) high, more people are opening their minds and hearts to neurodivergence as a way of being, and especially to autism as identity, community, and culture beyond the medical model. The families we meet online and at homeschool meetups, experience our total acceptance of our neurodivergent children. They see our children’s beauty, as well as struggles with the neurotypical world, reflected in their own children’s. They see our gifts and struggles as neurodivergent parents reflected in their own journeys.
They are asking and wondering, and seeking answers, and discovering what it means to be welcomed in to autistic community. No matter if they identify as autistic or are still more comfortable with quirky, sensitive, indigo or intense, we offer them acceptance in the same way that they welcomed us when we first found homeschooling, unschooling, or natural parenting.
Acceptance is contagious. Change is possible and it’s happening all around us.
I am so grateful to be taking a semi-break from fighting our oppression in the greater community to be present in what’s happening in our local community – a movement of families offering neurodivergent children total love and acceptance.
So I guess this post is a note of encouragement for disabled advocates and activists who are tirelessly writing, speaking, and fighting for neurodivergent children to be seen as full humans away from the medical model of disability. Your words trickle down, they have impact in children’s lives and on their caregivers.
This is also a note of encouragement for families feeling isolated as they step away from the mainstream. Total acceptance of your children is contagious. I hope soon you look around and notice a whole community of people who also love and accept their children in all their beautiful diversity.