In a moment of temporary insanity, I signed up for a blogging challenge for the month of April: Blogging from A to Z. The co-hosts of the event created the project as a way to inspire themselves and others to develop as bloggers by writing posts every day in April except for Sundays. When Sundays are removed, one is left with twenty-six days, which happens to coincide with number of letters of the alphabet. So, as an added challenge, one’s posts most be based on topics moving from A to Z.
Last year, I blogged every day in April for Autism Awareness Month. I learned quite a bit about autism by setting myself this challenge, and I’d like to think that I taught my handful of readers a thing or two as well.
Since that time, I’ve continued to learn. Recently, I’ve been introduced to more blogs by adult autistics. Reading their posts has really changed my perspective. A year ago, I didn’t understand the difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance. I claimed to be promoting acceptance, but that is difficult to do when one hasn’t actually accepted it for one’s self.
As this April has gotten closer, I started seeing posts by these same adults expressing negative emotions. For many autistics, April is a painful month of being used as tokens, getting inundated by requests to write, speak or appear at events, being bombarded by messages of what is wrong with them, and seeing an organization that they are not a meaningful part launch a marketing campaign for its own benefit that pushes an agenda that adult autistics question.
I began to wonder if I was going to be part of the problem if I repeated my blogathon this April. Would I just be adding to the noise?
I finally decided that it would be possible to blog every day as long as my message was about autism acceptance. I knew I would be writing from a different place than I did a year ago. I knew writing would help me gain clarity into my own biases, help me learn more about autism and be a chance to possibly influence others.
Okay, here is where the crazy part comes in.
I decided to combine blogging every day with the use of the A to Z prompts. I have to tell you, I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach last night wondering if I can pull this off. Would I be able to limit myself with the alphabet prompts AND spread a message of autism acceptance?
Before I committed myself to this, I first did some Googling for the trickier letters of the alphabet (I’m looking at you, X & Z). Satisfied I had found words that could fit my autism acceptance theme, I linked up.
And here it is: A is for autism acceptance. How easy was that for day one?