There is a pair of leggings making the rounds on Facebook and other social media from a quick print company called SunFrog. SunFrog does not create the designs - they just print them for the person who is the seller. Their business seems perfectly lovely and they have a strict infringement policy in terms of copyright. We'll get to that later.
Take this pair of leggings with the autism ribbon, Nike'esque swoosh (I can't imagine Nike sanctioned this use) and ad campaign inspired "Just accept it." Meaning autism. Here again is the message hammered into us by the Neurodiversity movemement. Guess what? Autism is really not acceptable. People with autism (oh, like my three girls) are indeed acceptable, lovable, adorable ad nauaseam. How about a "Just accept it" Alzheimer's shirt? Breast cancer? Bipolar? Schizophrenia?
Do you really think autism is some unicorn diagnosis that isn't serious, life threatening, family ripping, economy strapping and yes, heart breaking? Good grief!
We shouldn't have to proclaim our love for our kids, and yet campaigns like this force us to say things like:
NO! I do not accept autism.
I do not accept that my son can not speak.
I do not accept that my daughter can not tend to her monthly feminine hygiene needs.
I do not accept that my son puts his hand through glass windows.
I do not accept that my daughter wanders away from home and has no idea how to cross a street.
I do not accept that my high school age son has no friends and sits alone every day in every class and at lunch.
I do not accept that my daughter has never had a sleep over.
I do not accept that college is out of reach for my very smart son because he can not function alone.
I do not accept that my daughter can not get her driver's license despite her intelligence.
I do not accept that a group home is my son's future.
I do not accept that my child is at risk every day of his or her life because of autism.
These leggings are also an infringement on Nike's brand. You don't have to be "Bo" to know that.
We repeat this mantra every time we discuss neurodiversity. WE LOVE OUR KIDS. We don't want them to disappear. We wish their autism did not hobble them in so many ways - large and small. For more about the ND movement and how it has been propagated, I invite you to read Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted's latest book from Skyhorse Publishing titled Denial How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future.