Subliminal Advocacy

Sometimes I prefer a subtle approach.

I’d rather scheme ways to raise “awareness” outside of public campaigns and school-sponsored lessons.

I find ways to do it on the down-low; to plant covert messages and watch as misconceptions crumble.

Of course, there is always a need to engage in overt actions. When my son was in lower elementary school, he was integrated into the regular education classroom, with the support of a 1:1 aide. And, like any parent of a special needs student, I spent an exorbitant amount of time strategizing with his teachers and support staff how best to teach and support him, and set up “sensitivity training” and “friendship” programs to ensure that his peers learned how to be sensitive and friendly.

To be sure, my highly-vocal advocacy of my son’s educational and social needs helped to cultivate an inclusive mindset in his classmates and teachers.

But, I often delighted in staging more subtle acts of education to alter perceptions and transform stereotypes. When his teachers allowed for modified assignments, I exploited my son’s class projects in order to spread insidious disability awareness propaganda.

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Just Once.

This wasn’t some crazy, out-of-left-field idea.

Of course my son should try surfing.  It made perfect sense.

Because there is one thing that my son loves more than Disneyland, and possibly even more than cake.

Swimming. 

If there is one constant in our world, it is his love of the water.  Click the photo to see more about Making Waves.

If there is one constant in our world, it is his love of the water.
Click the photo to see my post about Making Waves.

Summertime is swim time, and I have a happy kid if our activity somehow involves immersion in water – a pool, a creek, a lake, an ocean – any place my son can get wet.

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