We’re Special

13 May

Signs of Autism

Yesterday I read an article about Aspergers, a kind of autism. At an instant I thought of my brother. I was fixated on showing it to him who apparently exhibited the same symptoms of significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests, clumsiness, and atypical use of language. In my mind, I had a picture of me laughing blissfully out loud as I teased my dear younger brother. Then I had second thoughts.

We’re close to 7 Billion inhabiting the earth. Because we feel as if we’re all the same in a sense, we tend to wish we were a bit different at times. We’re all guilty of wishing we’d be able to stand out in some way. We all crave special attention and recognition for the very little we do and the slightest difference we have towards each other. But when some of our own become too different, it’s as if we shun them from our supposedly welcoming society by giving away perhaps jealous yet persecuting glances.

Somewhere I read Rudy Simone wants us to imagine a world where Aspergers was the norm, and non-autistics or neurotypicals were the minority. Let’s try it: Those who feel the need to constantly be with a variety of friends are considered fickle. Those with no propensity for computers and science are called geeks. Those with no special interest are thought to be ungrounded and lost. Those without obsessive focus have to take classes to cultivate it. Despite the fact that humans are supposedly social creatures, the a world full of special people might be a breath of fresh air.

As I pondered upon the though, I remembered a great quote comes from Ellen Notbohm, author of Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew:

Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. It may be true that I’m not good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on other people? Also true that I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan. But with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.

 I showed my brother the article I found. He gave me a disgruntled look which I repaid with a smirk.

“Yes, Bro. We’re special.” I said.

*pic from the web

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