The Crowded Nest to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://www.thecrowdednest.blogspot.ca/2012/04/to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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To: I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s

To: I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s

Please remember that the way in which people treat you tells you about who they are. Not about who you are. If people are impatient with you, if they mock you or roll their eyes when you stim, they are showing you the limitations of their own kindness and tolerance. Be thankful for the heads up. The world has 6 billion people in it. Move right past the people who don’t want to meet you half way. As you get older, you have the chance to shape your own world, to delve into your own interests and passions, and to invite people into your life who truly seek to know your heart.

Always remember that when we have to struggle in life, we grow stronger. I don’t know what your challenges are in life, but I know that you are bigger than them. I have witnessed in my own life a dyslexic boy grow into a talented writer. Sometimes we don’t succeed in spite of our challenges, we succeed because of them.

Please believe me that the world is so much richer because you are in it. The people on the fringes of society are the same ones who expand our understanding of the world, of what humanity is, of what is possible. If there were no individuals who thought differently, who challenged our concept of “normal”, there would be no art and no science. You don’t need to be an Einstein or a Leonardo da Vinci to matter, you only have to be you and to be true to who you are.

One of my favourite lyrics is from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem. He sings,


There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

My son has Asperger’s. His name is Lucas, which comes from the Latin word for “light”. We didn’t know that when we named him;  we just chose the name because we liked the sound of it. Eight years later, we are just beginning to see how he expands our concept of the world. How he breaks open our insular views and challenges us to see the world from other perspectives. In short, how he lets the light in.
I wish you didn’t wish you didn’t have Asperger’s. I hope at least that you don’t often wish that you didn’t have Asperger’s. I wish you more good days than bad. I hope you move the needle toward self-acceptance a little each day. I hope the world inches toward inclusiveness and respect for diversity a little each day.
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