April is Autism Awareness Month
My request this month is for people to turn off what they think they know about Autism and Autistic individuals, and rather, get to know them as individuals. It's good to be aware of someone's challenges due to Autism, but take notice of the things that make that person human. Try to look at the world through their eyes, hear it with their ears, feel it through their skin. You may find it a whole lot more beautiful, but much more scary, and sometimes unkind as well. The next time you see a child screaming or not cooperating and an exasperated parent, or an adult who seems to never want to look you in the eyes and seems to take a while to get their words out, or the teenager who seems like a loner...let your first thought be "I wonder what their struggle is? I wonder if this might be hard for them? I wonder if I could make them more comfortable?"
Never underestimate these kids. These adults. These individuals. Sometimes their gifts are beyond measure.
Think outside the norm. Try something different. Give them experiences and chances to try as much as possible. Believe that they have amazing things to find in themselves. And love. Love will make it grow.