Coyotes~I admire them. Adapting to whatever circumstances they might find themselves in at any given time, they nonetheless have close, cohesive familial bonds; the challenges that life tosses at them only make them stronger, more resourceful and strengthen their ties to each other. I love the idea of this~that no matter what confronts them…they meet the challenge and continue to survive all while maintaining who they have been,… who they are. That is what life should be, yes? Taking in bits of what’s around us and making them part of ourselves~making us all better for the sharing of knowledge and experience gained?
As an Autistic myself, the way I see the world and those in it often differs from the accepted norm–and I don’t sugarcoat it for the comfort of NT’s, Autism experts, or anyone else. To be clear, I hold no degrees in the study of Autism. I do not pretend to be an expert in the subject (and frankly, neither should anyone else–there’s simply too much as yet unknown). What I do offer is the perspective of an adult Autistic woman raising her high-functioning Autistic children–in terms of really ‘knowing’ Autism, I would think this would give me a good idea on what it is to be Autistic, though I often find that what I know to be true in this regard often flies in the face of what the ‘experts’ tell us–and they REALLY don’t like it when you don’t agree with them. To disagree with the mainstream is to face everything from outright derision to the more common (and socially accepted) belittling of your thoughts, ideas, and feelings–after all, my brain is ‘damaged’ right?
It really bothers me how it is just accepted almost without question that Autistics are in need of a cure–need to be fixed–need to be normalized. No, we do not. Okay some, depending on where they are on the spectrum, may need help with things like basic self-care, and developmental assists…and I understand that. What I don’t understand is why this seems to equate in the NT mind with an Autistic person being a burden, an undesired and unfortunate ‘other life’ that must be tolerated and managed but is simply beyond them to understand and of no real or practical benefit to society. (And I don’t mean understand as in classify the person into some little series of checked off boxes on some developmental form–I mean understood.)
You know, Autistic people have a lot to offer. If NT’s would just take a moment to look at the world around them honestly–free from their ‘normal’ bias–so many things could change for the better:
Advances in technology–many with Autism are and could be brilliant in IT fields if they were just supported a little bit. Imagine the advances that could be made–the leaps in understanding. Many Autistics are also naturally environmentally sensitive; you combine these two traits and just think of the world we could have!
Arts–some of the most creative people in the world are on the spectrum–creative, artistic, deep-thinking with often unique perspectives–such individuals would be brilliant in not only our societies in general, but in our schools and universities–again with some basic support–can you even imagine how much more beautiful our lives could be? How much more rich would the lives of all children be if they were exposed to such people and what in turn have the potential to become?
Sciences–Again, many Autistics have a seemingly innate grasp of concepts beyond your average NT…if we could support them in this, allow them to find their way (and again, many are naturally ecologically sensitive), what kind of problems would they solve? Could they tackle our failing biodiversity? Global climate change? Clean, renewable energy sources? Who knows…but the possibilities are huge.
These, of course, are just a few examples–but imagine! If NT’s just stretched their comfort zones the way they are constantly asking us to do…what could we accomplish together?
It just seems that we all have so much to lose by divisive approaches and so much to gain by being willing to assist and coexist with others who have so much to offer if they are only allowed the right to grow into who they need to be…. worth thinking about at least?