Karen’s Blog: Sharing a Teen Idol with my Kids

Last night my dream came true  Although I love many different types of music from rock to jazz to blues to orchestra I got to see live in person my favorite musician in the whole wide world, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp!  As a young pup, I would drive through the mountains of Seattle with the top down on my convertible and music blasting into the open air singing at the top of my lungs.  I listened from one year to the next, like ALL THE TIME, maybe even stimmed, which means engaging in an extreme interest over and over and over again also known as perseverating, out a great deal on Rogers magnificent talent.

I didn’t stop playing their music, not even while my kids were growing up so they got to jam out with me in the car to Supertramp all their lives.  My fifth son, Stephen was the one who alerted me to the fact that they were coming to Edmonton. The funny thing was, I didn’t even know the key musicians name until Stephen invited me. You see,  I always knew him as Supertramp and never even thought about what his  actual name was, didn’t really care, just I knew I loved loved loved Dreamer and Superstar!  Who knows, maybe in the back of my mind part of our Autism Today Star logo came from that song.

My dream that came through was that my kids went with me and we got to enjoy the music together screaming, dancing and dreaming all in a state of exuberance.  I almost missed out because I didn’t connect the dots of Roger to Supertramp so when Stephen asked if I was going I almost didn’t go.  Sounds a little like autism eh?  I guess as a parent I’m probably a little spectral in nature too, you know, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Another special thing that happened (this is unheard of!)  my teenage son Stephen came to the back of the venue where I was seated because I registered at the last minute and asked his friend to trade places with me because I was more fun!  Wow!!! I wouldn’t have been caught dead with my parents at that age.

Heres a picture of Jonny, Kim and I having a blast at the concert.  You can see by Jonny’s expression, I keep forgetting to call him Jon now that he’s older, he’s full of character!  We ended up talking about the label of autism and how ridiculous he thought it was that people didn’t like the word autistic.  He said its an incredible over use of words to have to say “person with autism” each and every time they talked about autism because some people thought it was bad to say autistic.  He said its not derogatory in his mind.  Hummmm interesting!  Straight from the horses mouth, not that he’s a horse of course.

My daughter Kim also in the picture shared a story of when she went into a printers office, the kid came over and was stimming on an apple computer.  He clearly had autism.  The woman kept making apologies for his behavior and Kim’s attitude was “get over it woman” its okay, lighten up!  You don’t need to be embarrassed about autism.  It is what it is and so what.  Look at the kid’s strengths and how intelligent he is and enjoy him for who he is.  Wow, this was my true dream come true.  Yes I want to change the world so that everyone has this message and “gets over it” that is, the embarrassment, the hiding in the closet, the covering up etc.  I was thrilled to hear my own children “get it” because as a parent, you must know, its sometimes easier to get the whole world to see your point before your kids even do and finally they are getting it too!!!

When asked ‘why Autism Today‘ Jonny replies “”Parents and Professionals need to know what their child has so they can understand what they’re going through and how they can help to improve the quality of their life and all those that support them”

Sincerely,  Kims, Matts, Christinas, Jonathans, Stephens and Alex’s crazy mom, Karen!

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