So, Liz was walking thru the local mall the other day, and they passed the central fountain (which has always been a big hit with Buddy Boy since he was at least 6 months old-even after sitting there watching it for 30 minutes he would scream when we left it). On this day the fountain was spewing pink water (which was just fine with Sweet Pea, as she loves anything pink).
The pink water was a marketing thing for the Susan G. Komen race for the cure event that is coming to our town soon. In explaining the event to Buddy Boy, she explained that everyone doesn't always run, and that many walk, much like the "Autism Walk" that we have taken part in in the past. Well Buddy Boy put together the notions of "curing breast cancer" and "autism walk" together in his brain right away, and even though Liz never said anything about curing autism, he said,
"I don't want to be cured. I'm not sick."
He then seemed to infer that the Autism Walk money might be used to "cure" autism, because he stated,
"If we go on the Autism Walk again, we can just take their money. I am not sick."
Later, when Liz was in the car with the kids, listening to the same National Public Radio (NPR) story on autism that Autism Diva was, one of the participants referred to autism as a disease. Immediately Buddy Boy piped up from the back seat,
"It's not a disease!"
Liz agreed, saying that autism is actually a disorder, to which Buddy Boy responded,
"It's not a disorder, either! Autism makes me special!"
To which Liz could only agree.
Now I know that what a 7 year old puts forth as his opinion cannot be reliably said to be his opinion alone. Certainly a lot of what he says are just things he's heard. But while we certainly try to keep a positive spin on autism, we don't usually discuss autism politics or controversies in front of him (we're much more focused on discussing things like the proper channeling of aggression). So when I heard this I was glad that Buddy Boy had what I considered a very healthy view of things, and seemed to be integrating his own feelings on the subject with things he's heard from us and others. On top of that, all I can say is,
Me- Joe, husband of a great wife, and dad to two great kids, who were both adopted at birth.
Liz- My ever understanding wife, who manages to wear many hats (mom, advocate, therapist, teacher) for our kids.
Buddy Boy- Born in 2000. Funny, intelligent, inventive, and autistic. Loves machines.
Sweet Pea- Born in 2002. Typical little sister. Competitive, outgoing, and smart. Loves anything pink.