Amanda Broadfoot recently came and spoke to my Autism class about her son, Billy who was diagnosed with Autism at a young age and received early intervention services. Her blog, MyLifeIsASpectrum.com tells her own personal anecdotes about her life with Billy along with her husband and daughter as well.
In this post, Amanda recalls her recent trip to her local Walmart to buy her own Blue Lightbulb for the “Light it up Blue” campaign being held by the Autism Speaks Foundation.
04/01/2011 04:08 pm
“After I picked Billy up from school today, we went by our local Super-Walmart — so huge that I think it has its own gravity field — to pick up a blue lightbulb. In case you haven’t heard, Autism Speaks is asking everyone to “Light it Up Blue” tonight, in honor of World Autism Day tomorrow. We’re going to put our blue lightbulb in our front porch light.
Anyway, Billy was lounging in the cart, narrating the experience: “Mama is looking at dress-up clothes … there are a lot of unicycles in this house (bicycles were hanging from the ceiling)…Billy want a unicycle…Billy want 10 unicycles … Mama is looking at —”
Suddenly, he stopped and pointed.
BILLY: Mama, what are you looking? (His way of asking what I’m looking at.)
ME: I’m looking for a blue lightbulb. Here we are. Let’s get this one. (And I put it in the cart.)
BILLY: Mama, what are you putting?
ME: I’m putting the blue lightbulb in the cart.
BILLY: Because —- ? (This is how I prompt him when I want him to provide a reason “Why” to something he does!)
ME: (Laughing) BECAUSE … well …
Then I stopped laughing. What do I say? I decided to keep it real, nonchalant, to try and make it positive.
ME: I’m buying a blue lightbulb, because when we shine it from our porch tonight, we will be telling everyone I love someone who is autistic. Like you!
BILLY: (Big smile) Like me!
ME: Yes! You are so smart and so beautiful and I want everyone to know. So I will turn on the blue light to say that I love you.
(He seemed to ponder this for a few minutes.)
BILLY: (finally) Mama … (He seems to be really thinking about his response, thinking so hard it hurts.)
ME: Yes, sweetie?
BILLY: Mama, I love fish.
ME: Well, we’ll see if there’s a lightbulb for that.
Eric the fish, you strike again!”