Remember Alex Barton? Let me jog your memory – he’s the boy whose Kindergarten teacher saw fit to have his fellow students vote him out of the class, as if it were a Survivor episode. After reading about it, I was beside myself with strong emotions: sadness, disbelief, and fury. How DARE (yes, I’m yelling) that teacher disregard the self-esteem of one of her students? How DARE she teach her other students to insult him and cast him aside, instead of helping them to show compassion because of his differences?
Well, friends, fortunately the story didn’t end there. It was the beginning of another story – one of love, acceptance, and connectedness. A way to show Alex that people do care, that people are supportive. And we can all be a part of it.
Melissa Barton, Alex’s mom, with a little inspiration from Kyra of ThisMom, came up with The Tie-Dye Project. It began with Alex and his mom making five tie-dyed shirts and sending them out to five ASD kids. Each of those kids (and their parents) received a note on how to continue the project – just make five more tie-dyed shirts and send them out to five ASD kids. When was the last time a fun project had so much meaning behind it? Love, support, and understanding among kids on the spectrum. It’s a wonderful thing.
Yesterday Nigel received his shirt from Kendall. “This is really nice,” he said, checking it out. I told him about Alex, and Nigel is very excited to be a part of the shirt-making chain for ASD kids. He’s raring to go, so all we need now are five participants who would like to receive a tie-dye shirt from Nigel! Just leave a comment if you’d like one, even if you’ve not left a comment before, and I’ll email you to get your address.
Join in! As Nigel said to me in his flat but beautiful voice, “We need to get the word out.” And we will.