I have been asked several times why I use the blue hearts and why I call it Awesomism. Some parents, don’t like that I call it that because they think it doesn’t adequately represent many of the struggles we deal with daily. While I understand this view, especially from parents of children that are considered “low functioning”, I refuse to let autism define Peyton. In fact, I want him to embrace what makes him unique. Peyton is considered “high functioning“, and he realizes he views things and does things differently than his older siblings. His ability to know and understand that he is autistic has actually been a comfort for him. I realize this isn’t always the case, but it works for us and I have always believed that, as parents, we have to do what is best for our children. I have told Peyton for years that he has Awesomism, not autism, as he is the one who was chosen out of many to be awesome. Every time I tell someone this, and Peyton is present, he smiles. That warm smile makes me realize I have made the right decision.
Blue has become widely accepted as the color to represent autism. I choose to use blue hearts as a symbol of my unconditional love and devotion to helping not only Peyton, but also to all others in the “Awesomism” community. I add the blue hearts to many of my social media posts to show others that my drive and passion truly comes from my heart. Peyton designed a logo that is of a capital “A” in blue… I love this because it symbolizes Awesomism, and his understanding of what we are trying to achieve.
What exactly is Awesomism? Well, it isn’t always easy to put into words, but I will try. Awesomism, to me, means helping those in the autism community to be the best they can be. Too many autistic teens and adults are unemployed, lonely, and deal with issues alone without knowing how to ask for help. I know there are many programs out there for them, but at this point in time there are simply not enough. Part of the reason for this is because many aren’t aware of how to tackle these issues, such as how to train for jobs. I know Peyton would be great at certain jobs, but getting him trained for these jobs wouldn’t be easy as it would require time, energy, and (if we´re being honest)… patience. I have no doubt that once he learns the skills required, he would be an awesome employee. I am sure this will be true for many others as well. As an “Ambassador for Awesomism” my goal is to work with other parents, teens, adults, companies, and others to help fill the training and employment voids that are out there. I am only one person and in no way believe that I am the only person who is working to make a difference. I also know that my years in the political world has afforded me connections with many awesome people that can, and will make a difference working with me. I also know that there are so many needs and challenges to overcome, but for every “issue” we each address, the better the chance we have to truly turn autism into Awesomism! 💙