Autismally Beautiful


Today I choose to stand before you

and be completely vulnerable, totally see through.

Not for sympathy, not for applause,

but to bring something more than awareness

to a misunderstood, puzzle of a cause,

in which I am a piece.

I am one in 66.

But I am not someone that needs a cure or a fix.

Or for someone to explain to me that I’m different.

No, I’m saying this to be a reference.

To be a voice for those that cannot speak,

and not because they are in any way incompetent or weak.

Because that assumption is the furthest from fact.

And I’m tired and done with being the punchline in someone’s jokes or acts

of those that have been duped

into believing “stupid”

and “autistic” are somehow synonymous.

I mean how thick can you get?

Here, let me throw out some names for you.

Dickinson, Einstein, Newton, Mozart.

All were undeniably smart. 

And they were believed to be autistic too.

So remember when you look at me, when you look at us

with a vision of optimism and choose to see through a different lens.

you will find grace and ingenuity amongst the breaks and the bends.

So for the last time let it be heard

that the belief that autism means a “lack of intelligence” is absurd.

When you next think of autism and how hard it can be,

remember the rainbow comes with rain as a fee,

and life may never be

a wish granting factory.

You may face stares and judgmental glances,

but these are your chances 

to educate the thoughtless, the clueless, even the cruelest.

And when you do, make sure they see

that autism is beautiful… and please don’t forget you heard this from me.

The Mighty is asking the following: What is a part of your or a loved one’s disease, disability or mental illness that no one is aware of? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

A Too Much Information campaign graphic shows a boy struggling with sensory overload.

Virtual Reality Video Shows What Sensory Overload Feels Like for People on the Autism Spectrum

“Imagine feeling so overloaded that you just couldn’t cope.” That’s the situation the U.K.’s  National Autistic Society is exploring in a new virtual reality film that lets viewers experience what sensory overload feels like for people with autism spectrum disorder. “Imagine the difference it would make if someone showed you a little kindness,” the Society writes on their website. “Rather than judging you as a naughty [...]
This photo, provided by Awake Labs, shows the Reveal band and smartphone app.

Wearable Band Aims to Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum Track Anxiety Stressors

A team of Canadian developers is turning to crowdfunding website Indiegogo to fund a wearable device for children on the autism spectrum. “We realized that there would be huge value if we could measure and track anxiety in order to better understand behavior and even predict behavior meltdowns,” Awake Labs‘ CEO, Andrea Palmer, says in a video on the company’s Indiegogo page. [...]
author's son with autism eating at a restaurant

10 Tips for Eating Out With a Child on the Autism Spectrum

I grew up loving to eat. Several years ago there was a popular book entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” I would argue all I need to know I learned at the dinner table. Family dinners at the kitchen table were always a special time at my house. We would inhale [...]
Mark Zuckerberg

Vanity Fair Article About Mark Zuckerberg Opens With Insensitive Comment About Autism

Mark Zuckerberg is a genius. There’s no debating that. However, a description of Zuckerberg ‘s particular brand of genius has stirred up some controversy after a former Facebook employee, Antonio García Martinez, published an article about Zuckerberg in Vanity Fair. The article begins: Mark Zuckerberg is a genius Not in the Asperger’s, autistic way depicted in the very fictional [...]