My son would not need anyone to tell him that we should be responding to climate change as though our house is on fire. He would not be able to sleep and he would not be able to rest if he knew. Which is why I will not tell him.
I realised earlier that I shield him because “his autistic brain” would be frantic with worry if he knew the scale of damage we are doing to our planet. And that is when I was struck by something. It isn’t “his autistic brain” which is over-working, the problem lies with the rest of us not thinking about it and not focusing enough.
I often see that my son has a greater insight into things than most of those considered to be “neuro-typical”, and this is one of those time.
There was a second day of “school strike for climate change” in my area today and I am very proud of the young people who turned up.
There were, as expected, some hideous comments on some social media pages about how they were just having a jolly day off school, shirking, not really interested, not actually achieving anything etc.
But today was cold, windy, and not a day to be outside any longer than necessary. It was also Comic Relief Day, a dress down day and fun event at many of our schools. Many home educated children also attended the “school strike”. Those young people would usually be attending one of the many fun social gatherings which happen every Friday in the warmth with cake and treats! None of these young people are shirkers. They are standing up for what they passionately believe in, and I am thankful to them all.
We pick up litter.
We reduce, reuse and recycle.
We don’t waste water.
We are trying to grow our own vegetables.
We try to respect the Earth.
My son is very aware that we must look after the world. He is also considered to have learning disabilities.
But my son wouldn’t need anyone to tell him that he should be responding to climate change as though our house is on fire. He would instinctively know.
As adults, we shouldn’t need children to show us the way, but I am thankful to Greta Thunberg and all the children who are showing us that we are not doing enough.
None of us has all the answers, but we need more people to be asking questions.
“I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
Thanks also to Cornwall Council for being supportive of these children, and for valuing what they are trying to do.