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.