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The Brick Wall of Autism Advocacy

Tabs and Kids

What does it truly mean to fill your life with advocacy?

As parents of autistic children, we spend hours upon hours advocating for our children. I often think of it as two sides of a brick wall.

On one side, you have all the people you sit across from in different settings. On the other side, you are standing holding the hand of your child.

In this brick wall, one brick is missing. Through the hole, you try to use your words to explain a mountain of concepts you wish others innately understood.

As you whisper through the missing brick, the wall begins to lean in your direction, and you use your other hand to hold it up.

This is what advocacy can feel like.

The hand in yours, the hand of your child, is what gives you the strength to continue to brace yourself against the wall as it leans.

We often hope for a parade of understanding.

Where the system meets our children in the perfect symphony of celebration. We want all people to look at our kids as individuals, to try and understand them just as they are.

The brick wall can feel heavy and cold, and at times you might be unable to continue to whisper as you hold it.

Advocacy can mean many different things.

It is not born into us. We learn as we go and continue to shout from the rooftops to get our kids what they need.
If you want to meet parents where they are, come to the otherside of the wall.
Share in the load by meeting our kids and us where we are today. If you see a system that needs to be changed, try and make a small change for us all.
Look at us as if we know our child best.  Understand that emotions may be on the surface and help us when we can’t necessarily find the words.
Help us hold the wall when it becomes too heavy to bear. This is advocacy.
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Tabitha Cabrera

Tabitha Cabrera, Esq., recently moved from Arizona to Montana. She spent her career as an Attorney and has recently been working on finding what is important in this life, friends, family, and growth. She shares about her two sweet autistic children, Nixon age six and Nora age three and the family's journey through diagnosis. She has found a passion in advocacy and paired this passion with her brother Mike Barnett to publish four children's books. Available on Amazon, "Do You Talk the Way I Talk?" "Me and My AAC." "What's the Commotion with My Emotions?" and "¿Hablas Como Yo?" also coming soon "Can I See Autism?" She believes that each day you have the opportunity to spread a message and extend a hand to those in need. She also shares about her perspective and journey with the ladies of Table for Five, No Reservations podcast found on any streaming service. You can find Tabitha's blog at www.peaceofautism.com, on Facebook and IG at peaceofautism.

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2 Comments

  1. Darlene. C. Holdridge Moore on September 28, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Love you all for sharing this very challenging subject of autism. Bless your hearts as you help each other open up and teach from your own experiences.

  2. Mike L on September 29, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Very well said. I used to be on the opposite side of the wall. I never imagined I would be on your side, but here I am. Sometimes it takes a tragedy, grief and God to show us the way, but I made it.

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