There are many words that make me cringe:
- Albino – it has many negative connotations and is often used in a derogatory way. As a result, most in the albinism community prefer to be referred as person with albinism (PWA).
- Bae – why? Just why? Honestly, what does this even mean?
- My bad – this makes no grammatical sense and I refuse to use it. And I WILL judge you if you use it.
- Retard – often called the “R-word” this is another term with a history of misuse. I truly do cringe whenever I hear it, which is thankfully, much less these days.
But the term I detest most of all?
Whenever I catch myself saying this, I mentally step back and correct myself. Whenever I hear my kids say this, I challenge them to change their view.
“I can’t” is an admission of defeat. And while there are many things in life that I can’t do, there are many others that I can – and I want to concentrate more on those things I can do.
I especially detest the term when it’s used as an excuse.
I caught Gilbert the other day saying he couldn’t do something because he has autism.
Suffice to say, I made my feelings known to him, very clearly. There is no excuse for using his condition as an excuse. Particularly when he hadn’t really given things a fair go in the first place.
It’s just plain lazy. While I acknowledge that autism does make some things hard for him, he is still capable of so much. And this is the same for everyone on the spectrum.
It’s just over a week until World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 (next Saturday!) which also heralds the beginning of Autism Awareness month. A month where a spotlight shines on people with autism around the world with the aim of raising acceptance and understanding of a condition that is well known yet so little understood.
I want to use the month to focus on the positives of the condition. To highlight everything that people on the spectrum can do, rather than focusing on everything they can’t.
Because autism is not a tragedy.
It is merely a different way of operating and thinking.
To show my support, and to promote acceptance, I’ve committed to walking 15,000 steps for autism each day from April 2 through to April 9. I’ll be walking to raise funds for Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT), the organisation that gave us so much help and support in the early stages and who continue to help us, through to this day.
It’s the least I can do after everything they have done for us.
Follow my progress via Facebook and Twitter and please consider donating a small amount to assist me to reach my goal of raising $1000 for ASPECT.
Meanwhile, please think of me next Saturday. Besides being World Autism Acceptance Day and the day I begin my challenge of walking 15,000 steps daily, we will also be celebrating Gilbert’s 12th birthday with a sleepover – with 10 of his friends, no less.
Which is completely fitting & entirely crazy, considering we weren’t even confident that he’d ever enjoy experiences like this when he was first diagnosed with autism, 8 years ago now.
And that’s why I’m walking. To show the positives of autism. To show what we can do as an autism family.
To fight against the notion of “can’t” – because we can.
Do you have a word that makes you cringe?
And can you lend me your support – for both my fundraising challenge and the even greater challenge of surviving a sleepover with at least 10 pre-pubescent boys????
Would you like more support as a special needs parent?
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Thanks for hosting such a great linky again this week!
Good luck on your walk. Go, go GOOOO!
PS I agree on the word “can’t” 100% Let’s remove that from the vocab too …
What a big week ahead and congratulations to your son…and to his mum and dad! You are kicking goals all over the place with your fitness, commitment and your genuine care for so many people! Go Kirsty! Denyse xx
Thanks Denyse – I’m certainly trying!
Happy birthday Gilbert! And wow…10 friends. Good luck!!
I know – what was I thinking!!!
All the best for your walk and good luck with the sleep over. Have a great week.
Thanks so much Julie x
What a massive week you have coming up. Hope it all goes well.
Apologies for being so late to the party. I just needed some time out and offline following that video.
Sometimes you need to look after you Raych – I hope things have settled down for you now.
I went completely off topic this week but kind of related – the word I loathe is when people use “Jesus Christ” as a swear word. It just makes me die a little inside. Happy birthday to your boy, and definitely putting a little something in the kitty for your fundraising effort – I’ll go do that now!
Thanks so much Janet. And I have to agree with your choice of word – the Catholic deep inside of me also tends to cringe when I hear that term!
Happy Birthday gorgeous boy. What a bog week for you guys. I often say to my kids – do say I can’t as that means you can’t. Let’s try….
Exactly – those words do have a powerful effect. Much better to turn it around and say I’ll try.
Im with you ‘ can’t ‘ isnt recognised . Life has been a combination of crazy and exciting so Ive been absent . Details to be revealed soon. Although I will be running for a different reason (our son is getting married) next saturday , I will definetly contribute to your fundraising for a cause close to my heart . X
Thanks Jules – I really do appreciate it!
Happy bday Gilbert! Good on you for committing to the 15000 steps each day thats a lot! I know when I was doing my thesis in Autism, my supervisor would correct me if I said ‘autistic children’ and change it to ‘children with autism’. It really opened my eyes to the way we often speak about different disorders and disabilities.
Well it’s funny you mention that Jess as many adults with autism prefer to be referred to as autistic as they consider the autism to be a part of them and not an add on – they are not someone with autism, they are autistic. However, my son also has albinism and no-one in the albinism community wants to be referred to as albino – they prefer to be referred to as person with albinism. So I’ve always gone with the person first language with both conditions. However, I am highly conscious of the preferences of those in the autism community and am trying to find a way to honour and respect both sides. It can be so hard sometimes!
Good luck for everything you hope to achieve during the month. Such an important message! Good luck with those boys…
Thanks Zita – i’ll need all the help I can get! Thank goodness Nathan will be here, with his teacher voice ready to go!