It All Started With a Book

As much vitriol as I have for Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time,” I am also incredibly thankful and indebted to this book.  A few years back I was asked to teach a class that is not part of my regular rotation, and this novel was part of the course materials.  Obviously, teachers pre-read the books we discuss in class and my pre-reading resulted in me crying in a book closet to the Head of the English Department about how I absolutely didn’t feel good about teaching this book. BTW she was great about it.  

My own neruodivergence might have never come up without this book. I thought I did an awesome job hiding it my whole life, but I am not sure others would agree.  It was in that dark closet that I outted myself to the dept. head, it was in a meeting over the damage the book could do that I outed myself to my assistant principle.  

As problematic as it is, I owe my advocacy in part to that revolving collage of words and pages.  Many days when I feel like giving up I bring up the book in mind.  I think about reading about the stereotypes and myths of Autism.  I think about kids reading it, and gets me to stand back up.  

I will not pretend to be someone that hates attention.  I am not.  However, I am a people pleaser and advocacy can really suck sometimes.  It is not the way that I want attention, it is not what I want to be known for in this one life I have.  However, it needs to be done.  Society needs to wake up and realize the constant oppression being lobbed at Neurodivergent people is not okay and I know I am strong enough to stand up for change.  If you are strong enough too, please help.  

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