Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How I Spent Last Thursday

She drove out Wednesday night, and stayed for a few days. Early both mornings we hopped in the car, driving in the dark through all sorts of traffic, finally reaching the heart of the city and an unfamiliar building. Walking through a cold, gray parking garage without a hint of direction, we made it to the sign in table as I wondered how 1,400 people would ever fit into a ballroom.

I think my sister was simply relieved I got us there in one piece.

The conference organizer greeted us, and pointed out the table I’d be using to sign books. I wasn’t sure how to react. All sorts of emotions, from excited, to humbled, to downright nervous, ran their courses through me.

I mean, I’m just a mom.

A mom of a daughter who just happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. A mom who wants to turn up the volume on these kids and grab a piece of the spotlight so often shining on their counterparts. A mom who desires to get the conversation going longer, deeper, and stronger of girls and Asperger’s Syndrome.

And I can’t do that alone. Rudy Simone can’t do it alone, either. Neither can other Aspergirls, as Rudy refers to them. We need other voices to join in the mix. Voices that have different experiences than ours. Even voices who sound the same. Simply put, we need more.

As my sister picked a pair of chairs for us toward the center of the grand room, and I clumsily placed my lunch bag and coffee under the chair in front of me while waiting for Carol Kranowitz to start the SuperConference, I pondered how we can help these Aspies become better understood, loved and accepted.

Over the next few days, I will be sharing my experience at the Autism Asperger's SuperConference in Charlotte, sponsored by Future Horizons. I'd be honored if you followed along, and shared your thoughts, as well.

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