The Untold Autism Story

So often what we hear on social media are heartwarming stories about young children with Autism engaging in extremely cute things. Recently, I saw a parent post a video depicting their child, who is on the Autism spectrum, sleeping soundly with their pet dog. Adorable, right?

So much of what people learn about Autism are the cute, clumsy kids who are just a little “different” from the rest of us. But what we don’t learn are about those on the spectrum who hurt others, including themselves, because that is the only way they are capable of expressing themselves. We don’t understand those living with Autism who are unable to control their own emotions and get overwhelmed when there are too many people in a room.

What if when we spoke about Autism we didn’t sugarcoat it, and we talked about the raw and real issues that people living with Autism deal with on a daily basis. It is not as simple as being “different”; it is so much more than that.

After working with children with disabilities, many of whom were on the Autism spectrum, I have learned that Autism is something not to be approached with caution but with awe and wonder. Have you ever seen someone sculpt a rhinoceros out of Play-Doh in three minutes? Have you ever seen someone recite an entire scene from "Harry Potter," perfectly? There is so much we can learn from individuals with Autism, and there is so much we can do to make society a much more accommodating place for those that are “different” from us.

Autism education and awareness should come from the source. You would not ask a bird why cows moo, so why would you ask a non-Autistic person about Autism? People with Autism enrich our society, and there is so much we can learn from them.

 

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