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Karen Wang
BY Karen Wang

15 Alternative Awareness Days We Should All Be Celebrating!

The United Nations has firmly established March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day, April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, November 14 as World Diabetes Day and December 1 as World AIDS Awareness Day.  March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and November is National Caregiver Awareness Month.

Some say that it’s too much to keep track of, but I say it’s not enough.  Rather than raising awareness one diagnosis at a time, I propose celebrating the joys and aggravations of everyday life so that we can all find some common ground.  I suggest that the following 15 awareness days should be added to calendars:

1. Doctor’s Waiting Room Awareness Day

Magicians and musicians will alleviate the torture of sitting in the waiting room on this day.

2. Life Priorities Awareness Day

We’ll take a moment of silence to choose our battles.  Or several moments.

3. Personal Space for Wheelchair Users Awareness Day

On this day we will recognize the fact that there is an actual person in every wheelchair, and that person cannot move without adequate space to maneuver.

4. Sleep Deprivation Awareness Day

We’ll march through the neighborhoods singing lullabies at 4:00 AM and again at 11:30 PM.

5. Marital Rejuvenation Awareness Day

Take time to express appreciation for a beloved, hard-working spouse.

6. Sibling Love Day

We’ll focus on the wonderful qualities of the siblings of people with special needs, and we’ll do things their way.

7. Did You Really Just Say That? Awareness Day

Use up all of your nosy questions, blunt comments and inappropriate small talk about disabilities today, and stick to polite conversation for the other 364 days.

8. Behavior Is Communication Day

Whether you like it or not, your behavior will be analyzed by a team of experts to determine what you are really trying to communicate both consciously and subconsciously.

9. Escape Artist Awareness Day

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for those speedy daredevils and climbers, and make sure they’re returned to safety.

10. Echolalia Awareness Day

We can all relax and enjoy repeating our favorite lines from the movies or simply our favorite catch phrases.

11. Go Outside and Play Awareness Day

Take time to smell the roses and enjoy the sunshine.  Just get the heck out of the house.

12. Awareness Via T-Shirts Day

Family members will all wear t-shirts that say “I love someone with Down Syndrome” or “Ask Me About Autism” or some other statement identifying them as a family member of a person with a disability.

13. Sorry, We Can’t Eat That Awareness Day

Participants will choose to eat as if they have a life-threatening food allergy for one day, and hopefully refrain from offering questionable edible treats thereafter.

14. Laughter Is Medicine Awareness Day

We will share funny stories, tell jokes and find something to smile about all day long.

15. Synesthesia Awareness Day

Sunshine will smell like roses, purple will be sad, the letter A will be red and a D minor guitar chord will taste like dark chocolate.

Please add your awareness days to the comments below.

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Karen Wang

Written on March 21, 2014 by:

Karen Wang is a Friendship Circle parent. You may have seen her sneaking into the volunteer lounge for ice cream or being pushed into the cheese pit by laughing children. She is a contributing author to the anthology "My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities"

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