When I think of my beautiful, bright, artistic and yes, AUTISTIC, nine year old daughter PanKwake, this is one of the songs which I think of. In fact, she has said something very similar to me several time…’Don’t try and change me.’
But all too often that is exactly what parents, schools and society do to our kids…especially the high-functioning ones like PanKwake. The expectation is that these smart kids should just ‘learn to act normal.’
Since I have been debunking myths this past week, why not do it with this one too?
First of all…Have you looked at the world in which we live? Society? Being Normal? Is that REALLY what you want for your child? We have stripped Mother Nature of her resources with no thought for their futures. We have built a world where money and greed matter more than people. Where the rich get richer and the poor get…less and less. Where the color of your skin still matters more than the content of your character. Where being different is bad.
And that is the second…Who says that being different is automatically bad? What about diversity? Isn’t there any room in this world for different views? Different ideas?
I saw this on my Twitter feed this morning… http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/world-autism-awareness-day/25736/guest/. And I thought, she’s right. Awareness is NOT enough. We need ACCEPTANCE. We need people to stop trying to change us, our children, and just appreciate them for the beauty that they bring to the world.
Albert Einstein was not only a brilliant scientist but a great philosopher. Among my favorite quotes from this unparalleled mind is this one:
The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
Who is to say that their autistic minds do not hold the answers to all those problems with the world and society which I mentioned earlier? Who is to say as the Bible said of Queen Esther…you were raised up for a time such as this? Who is to say that they are not the true X-Men (and oh yeah WOMEN)? The next step in human evolution…homo autistica!
Maybe it is not popular, but not since the bullying that I underwent in high school, have I seen any point in being in the ‘popular’ crowd. But…maybe…the answer for our kids is as simple as…
“Don’t go changing to try to please me…I love you just the way you are.”