My heart is bursting, my mind is racing and I'm existing on both ends of my own spectrum at the same time!
Pride is first, not to be boastful, but more amazed. The focus and energy it took for Jake to read his speech before a couple hundred people at Autism Night Out is remarkable. It was nearly 90 humid degrees, he talked on a microphone (police radio) he wasn't expecting, there were tons of people walking/pacing/yelling and his speech started 90 minutes after his scheduled bedtime. I think I held my breath for the entire 5 minutes while my eyes leaked down my cheeks...
I was so awe-struck that when he finished and was jumping around in joy I was frozen. I didn't know what to do, my feet were stuck as I stood there crying. Then a man from the audience tapped my shoulder, "are you his mom?".... "Me? Yes!" "Then get up there and hug him!!!"
Energy propelled me forward, up the stairs and into his arms. His excitement flooded my heart and overtook me. All the anxiety was released from my shoulders and we jumped around in front of hundreds of fellow super heroes!
In the weeks leading up to this speech; the constant talking about police, recording and re-recording Jake's voice memos about what he wanted to say in his speech, the rewrites to make sure there wasn't a stray mark on the paper to distract his attention, all had led to this amazing moment.
I keep thinking about the officers. In a time when the police are getting harsh headlines across the country, our kiddo was able to enlighten them while encouraging super hero families with his words. He speaks from the heart and pulls people in like no one I've ever seen. I'm starting to believe this won't be his last public appearance.
The other fact of the matter is, this is just the beginning of a necessary global social transformation. Autism is here to stay! Super Heroes are not going anywhere and we need to change the mindset in America and around the world. Since we aren't changing, the neurotypicals are going to have to do the work!
A line from Jake's speech states: we need to be respectful of everyone. Respect and embrace the differences among us. Be hopeful and encouraged about the future, a transformation is beginning.
My eyes have dried now and I'm overwhelmed by a feeling of calm and hope. Jake clearly has the ability to change minds and impact people and we're not going to stop until everyone understands and honors The World According to Jake!
I gotta run, as he totally just ran downstairs naked, holding a tooth he just yanked out. No lie!!
Just another night on the ASD spectrum.