It is ten o'clock.
No, later than that. This post should have been up hours ago. But my oldest son had an autism meltdown of epic proportions this weekend. As I write this, my beautiful boy is in lockdown and we're still numb from shock. So, in spite of the fact that it's Muse Monday here at Textnovel Divas, the words simply won't come. All I can think about is autism. That autism is winning. It has taken my son to a horrible place, and no matter how hard I kick, scream and yell for awareness, for research, autism is still legions ahead, and taking down children in rapidly increasing droves.
1 in 91 of them, in fact. And enough is enough.
It is enough, damn it, and no matter what happens with my son, I'm nowhere near done fighthing yet. One way or another, I aim to give a voice to those on the autism spectrum who cannot speak for themselves.
Which, ironically, is the very reason I decided to become an author in the first place. Somebody in this community needs to make some serious noise. While I understand the need for dignity, to hide, to lick our wounds, to regroup from the madness, pulling a Stallone or Travolta (God bless both of them for their and their children's struggles) by hiding my autistic children and their very real struggles does them no favors.
I'll worry about politically correct parenting later.
I'm not ashamed of autism. Never have been. I want my sons to be proud of who they are. But I realized early on in my writing career (if you could call it that) that writing nonfiction about autism was only serving to get my words read by those already interested in autism.
The ones who most needs to hear, read, and see accurate information about persons with autism are the ones who don't already live with it.
These are the people I want to reach, must reach.
Where better to reach them than through mainstream romance novels, which comprise 65%of book sales in our country? My textnovel, Muse Struck, has an autism related subplot that nearly derails the romance in the story. By exploring that plot, I gave the disorder that plagues my sons a face. A name. A story that will, if I have done my job right, turn hearts and minds that may not have been turned otherwise.
When all is said and done in my journey with my sons, I need to know I've done all I can possibly can to insure sure that when I am gone, they will walk into a world prepared to receive them with dignity and respect.
Until our actors, our writers, or politicians and our community leaders who love people with autism are willing to stand up and allow their loved ones to be counted, we have failed.
Failure is not an option.
So while I may be down, I'm a far cry from down for the count.
So off I go to tend to my boy. Perhaps when he is home I'll be able to pick up my pen and spill some more ink for the cause.
The rest is, as they say, in God's hands.
There's no place else in the universe where I'd rather leave my sons.
Monday, October 19, 2009
It is ten o'clock.