Why I Don’t Wear Blue Today

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 02 April 2015 @ 11:03 am

worldautismday

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.
It is, like most things, controversial in the autism community. A subject for another day.
The reason I don’t wear blue is simple.
The person I love who is on the autism spectrum despises this initiative.

Ben used to think it was cool. Cool that people all over the world were recognizing a day to be aware of autism.
Until.
Middle school.
His middle school, which is a great school and was a wonderful place for him, encourages students to wear blue by rewarding their behaviour. They get points for their yearlong good behaviour program (named something else) if they wear blue.
Not inherently bad.
But.
As Ben pointed out, “they are only doing this for the stickers. It’s not like they are actually nice or more accepting of me and my autism. So it’s totally fake.”

Acceptance.
Not awareness.
That’s what Ben said. He said they weren’t accepting.

Maybe he’s on to something.

So out of respect.
And because we accept Ben.
No blue here at Beit Schorr.

Except for Lilly.
Who wants the points.
And, as Ben also remarked,
“she, of all people, totally deserves those points.”

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Meaningful Schmutz

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 18 February 2015 @ 3:04 pm

ash wednesday

28 February 1990
8:00am

Music Theory II

As always, Dr. Arlin strode into the classroom precisely at 7:59am. Only on this particular day, she had a bit of schmutz on her forehead.

It is a darn good thing that I thought to silently count to five before saying anything. Because the poor sod who inquired was on the receiving end of quite the lecture.

In my defense and to the best of my recollection,I had never seen anyone observe Ash Wednesday prior to that brisk, snowy day in February. Given the observance includes ashes placed on one’s forehead by the priest or minister, I imagine I would have noticed it.

Ash Wednesday, for those of the Mosaic persuasion, is the start of the forty-six day period before Easter, commonly known as Lent. If childhood experience is to serve as the basis for my knowledge, then Lent would be the period when one gives up chocolate. Seriously. Every one of my Catholic friends gave up chocolate for Lent — every year. Leading me to the misguided conclusion that (a) Lent was a holiday about refraining from chocolate and (b) Lent doesn’t really work…and it’s better to just do the Ten Days of Repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur.

Dr. Arlin was, without question, the most demanding and most intimidating professor with whom I studied. I also learned more about music theory from her than from anyone else. I learned as well how to stand tall and walk through one’s day while observing a religious behaviour that was unknown to most.

I have thought of her every Ash Wednesday for the past twenty-five years and pray that her Lenten season is filled with meaning and purpose.

*an earlier version of this appeared on Frume Sarah’s World in 2011.

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One False Move

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I had added an additional hour to my travel time. I walked slowly on the concrete sidewalk. I crossed cautiously across the street. Yet, not a single one of these precautions saved me from the icy brickwork. What I Learned from Falling Flat on my Face Falls happen in slow motion It is really true. […]

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I’ve been the mother of a child with special needs for nearly fourteen-and-a-half-years. Which kind of makes me an expert. Or so I thought. Recently, I was reminded of what happens when I don’t take the time to step back and better anticipate what can be done to make Ben’s life easier. For that experience […]

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Crushed

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Mission Accomplished: Ted Talk

November 13, 2014

I have a list. It’s akin to a bucket list, I suppose. But it is not about places I want to go or things I want to see. Or, I should say, it’s not just about those things. It’s a list of the things that I want to accomplish. Like learn Yiddish. I want to […]

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Bitter, Bitter Cheshvan

November 4, 2014

With the intensity of our Fall Holy Days behind us, we find ourselves in the month of Cheshvan. Known as Mar Cheshvan, or “bitter Cheshvan,” it is the only month on our calendar devoid of festivals or fast days. And it is for that reason that many have assumed it was given its alternate name. […]

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Sinking

October 23, 2014

I haven’t been writing. Or exercising nearly as much as I’d like. Or keeping up with friends. Or even wishing them happy birthday on Facebook. Things here in AutismLand have been difficult. For months. Really difficult. Really, really, really difficult. I feel as though I spend my days under the weight of quick sand. Sinking. […]

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#BlogElul 2: Act

August 28, 2014

I am terrible at predicting trends. For example, I predicted Cyndi Lauper would be more successful than Madonna, Tiffany over Debbie Gibson, and never, never would I have thought that nearly the entire world would have jumped on the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. To the tune of nearly $100M in a month. I have a perfect track […]

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