I happen to believe that, whether autistic or neurotypical, we all have similar basic needs: to feel safe, loved, and understood; to be inspired and passionate about something; to experience joy in our lives. I believe that people with ASD have special sensitivities and talents, and have a great deal to teach others. Autistic people process information and sensory input differently, but that isn’t a negative thing– it’s pretty fascinating, really!
There are so many people with ASD now– so many of our loved ones– that there is a push to understand and accept their differences and to fully integrate them into society. Ignorance and fear may have kept autistic people rather isolated in the past, but that is changing fast, thankfully! My son is autistic and I have seen these changes becoming reality.
The new era has ushered in a new awareness of autism and greatly increased level of understanding of it. There are many more opportunities now in schools and in the workplace and just in the community in general. I know it’s still hard. Autistics are still a minority. Society was built by/for “neurotypicals.” But if you are autistic, know that you are a valuable person and a citizen with rights and with great potential! You absolutely deserve to have equal opportunities in every area of life and to be treated with full dignity and respect. Many people are fighting to fully achieve these goals, and you should fight too! You are our family– our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, and neighbors– and we love you and we value you. Please believe that! It is going to get better and easier for you– for us all!
Our common bonds certainly outnumber and outweigh our differences. We are all just people and we need one another. I know that some day, any adaptations or adjustments that might need to be made for any one of us for any reason, will be made automatically and without question. We will all be enabled to reach our potential and share our gifts. That’s the world that I want to live in!
In the meantime, let’s keep talking, emailing, blogging, writing, whatever! We need to be eachother’s support system, information base, and “sounding board.” THERE ARE SO MANY WHO CARE! I think it was Sir Winston Churchill who said, “Never, never, ever give up!”