One of my primary goals for The Aspie Dialogues is to promote meaningful discussion (Dialogue, anyone?) on the topics that concern us as the ASD community.
I realize that the term, “Aspie,” may technically be widely considered defunct nowadays and that it refers to only a fraction of the ASD community, but it’s been so engrained in my self-identity since I became aware of my 1998 diagnosis some time around 2002 or 2003, that I felt it would detract to my blog’s meaning if I didn’t include it in the title.
But what does my blog mean, anyway? And while we’re at it, what is the meaning of ASD, in the first place?
Surely, my answer will be different than any other Spectrumite’s. After all, if you meet one Spectrumite, you’ve really only met just the one. ASD is just as diverse as the people it affects in its symptoms, its circumstances, and the cultures it creates. That doesn’t even factor in the countless number of communities dedicated to ASD and the Spectrumites.
So, with so many versions of ASD out and about in the world, how can any one person attempt to define ASD conclusively? It’s too subjective a condition!
The answer here, dear readers, is that we can only attempt to define what ASD means to us as the individuals affected by it, subjectively.
Now that we’ve gotten this far, what does ASD mean to me?
Quite frankly, I’m still figuring that out, myself. It’s part of the reason I kept the blog after leaving the Kinney Center in 2011. I may never fully figure it out in my lifetime. It’s like asking God, “What’s the meaning of life?” The world may never know.
This is a topic I want all of you out there, reading this to think about over the next couple months as we head into the 2016 Puzzle Pride Campaign.
Instead of suggesting nominations for the site (because that worked out so well, last year…), I’m hereby issuing a challenge to all of you to think about who has supported you the most through your diagnosis (or diagnoses, because some people have more to cope with than others) and send me any special message you want them or the rest of the world to know about your challenges with ASD. This can be an anonymous message, if you so desire. Just know that I will post your first name and last initial unless you tell me not to.
I’m going to post them here, on a special page on the site, for all to see in April. So, please, start thinking about what you want to say, now!
We’re going to call this the Putting the Pieces Together Challenge. I’ll post more details on the site, later. And no, this does NOT replace the Puzzle Pride Campaign. That is separate.
I’m counting on all of you to make this work. It’s my hope that through this challenge, the world will come to understand what ASD means to us that much better and accept us for who we are and what we cope with on a daily basis.
We all have so much to say; let’s let our messages be heard. No holding back!
May you find peace with yourself, within yourself. Rock on, Spectrumites!