I may have played the race card once or twice. It wasn’t what you think. I didn’t use my blackness to get admitted into school, ask for special treatment or to scream racism. It was when I was with friends and they wanted to rent a plane for skydiving and I had to remind them I was black and I don’t do that.
Playing the autism card is different. When Syd was younger we were at Meijer getting groceries, something that terrified me to do with my children. The lines were long, we needed food and Syd was getting restless. Harrison told Syd to do it! That meant start screaming and we could get people in front of us to let us go first, because of course they didn’t want to hear her screams. Well, we tried it but Syd didn’t take the bait as she sat eating fruit snacks in the shopping cart.
I’ve used the autism card in the past, not to get me out of going places but truly played the autism card because of our reality.
When people invite me somewhere last minute, most times I have to pull the autism card. I have to think about who will have my kids, how Syd’s day was or if she will be up for it, do I have her medication with me and how long will we be gone.
Maybe I’ve used my autism card too many times like the boy who cried wolf because our invitations have dwindled. It’s my own fault because even when I try to make last minute plans, my mind still has to analyze everything.
During the month of April I felt like we had an autism pass to be accepted and included, but I don’t feel that way all of the time. Autism families it is okay to pull the autism card, it’s not our get out of jail free pass. It is needed to sometimes yell Autism and take a time out. I’m learning to play my cards wisely.