I have to admit, I'm a bit over the top. I have three autism bumper stickers, a ribbon on the antenna of my car. I tend to wear an autism awareness shirt on casual Fridays (and any other day I can get away with), I have an autism magnet at my cube. The idea is to just say to people "Hey, here's someone who has no problems being out in the open about autism and will talk about it if you have any questions."
A few weeks ago I was wearing and Autism Awareness golf shirt on a Friday at work. I was approached by one of my coworkers who's daughter just had her son diagnosed and we talked through some if his issues and what kind of things to expect about services in the state she's in and hat usually happens after age 3. Later that day I got involved in conversation with another coworker about the PBS Independent Lens film "The Horse Boy", and I got to convey some of the issues around things like proprioceptic and other issues that horseback riding might help.
That was a good day to look back on, but today has not been great. The power in our house had intermittently been going off, and the main breaker had been switching off. Today was about the 6th time it happened. The first time I had received a panicked call from my wife who finally found out it was the breaker. But today, no matter how many times we reset it, the power would not go back on. I spent a good hour combing through the yellow pages and my cell phone hoping to find an electrician who was not only honest, but available on a Sunday. I left a few messages, got a few "no way I can come today's". After resigning us to spending the night in the dark and waiting until Monday morning, I finally got a call back from a local guy who said he'd be over in 15 minutes. Oh happy day! The figures were pretty bad; It's almost 90 here today; we have thousands of dollars of food in the freezers of the house...and 5 kids screaming for electrically powered entertainment (I'd include Linda and myself in there too). So, my right arm and maybe a first born would be on the table if this guy wanted to charge it!
He showed up like he said and was able to fix the breaker with something temporary. He didn't have the proper breaker so that we'll have to do without the AC for tonight, but the food and our sanity would be saved at least. But to top it off, when we handed him the check with the 'Autism Awareness' logo, it got him to open up about his 9 year old nephew who is on the spectrum in the school district in the next town over. We talked for a few minutes about the issues and challenges facing him and his parents dealing with the town about providing what he needs. But it was good to be able to have a touch point to let both him and us that we are not alone in this universe. So I'll write today off as a 'good' bad day.