I have an unusual request. I am counting on you, gentlereader of the great wide interwebz, to fulfill it. All you need to do a good deed is the internet, a camera (or camera phone), and a vacuum. It is easy, and painless, its simple, and it will make you awesome.
Let me back up a bit (I can imagine you now, scratching your head in befuddlement–I know I would be). I have a friend (yes, really, I actually have a friend or two) from my time in the Navy (she’s pretty awesome), and my friend has an autistic nephew who loves vacuums. Adores them. Watches vacuum cleaner infomercials like they are Saturday comics, and loves pictures of vacuums.
I don’t know a whole lot about autism, but I am becoming quite familiar with OCD (off topic, but Sharkbait’s ADHD diagnosis was expanded a bit at his last appointment)…so I’m starting to understand the nature of fixations. From what little I do know about autism, his fascination with vacuums is a Big Deal. Fixations like this can be a sort of…anchor in times of stress and change. They act as a way to relax, a gateway to clear thinking. And, many autistic persons have been able to make careers out of their fixations (people like Temple Grandin), with the help of parents and teachers. (more info)
So here’s the deal. Its hard to just find unique pictures of vacuums. There are only so many sales advertisements for Dyson in the paper or the mail! We need you to take a picture of your vacuum, be it Hoover or Eureka, Shark or Roomba, even a Swiffer Sweeper and e-mail your vacuum picture* to firstname.lastname@example.org**. Then, give yourself a pat on the back for being awesome and knowing that you helped a random family over the internet, for no reason other than your own compassion. For extra karma cookies (and two pats on the back), reblog this or share it with your friends.***
Edited to add: Please try to include the make and model in your e-mail. I don’t know if how much that matters, but I know I have some readers that are outside of the US, and that often there are different brands and models available there.
*I think that you, fabulous readers, are indeed awesome enough that this is unnecessary, but…Please remember that these pictures are ultimately for a 7 year old boy. Don’t send anything untoward. Keep it G-rated.
**Rather than send all these pictures to me directly (as noted in the image above), for me to forward when I have the time to do it (regular readers know I can get behind schedule), I’ve set up an email address that they can use to check without having to wait on me (unfortunately, I’m having problems making it a link). And yes, I have their permission to ask this on my blog (without including their personal information). Also, I personally vouch that this is a Real Thing, and not just some random internet appeal (unless you aren’t one of my regular readers, in which this is both a Real Thing AND a random internet appeal, lol).
***To be honest, even if you don’t have a camera or a camera on your phone or whatever (or perhaps you don’t have a vacuum) sharing this will find others that do, so please, please, please share or repost!