Will You Accept Us?
Autism acceptance means embracing us for who we are. It doesn’t mean looking for a “cure” or a way to fix us, but rather helping us navigate this world while capitalizing on our strengths. Everyone on earth wants to be accepted, and not to have the notion of having to be changed forced upon them. This is also true of autistics.
Imagine walking into a foreign land, where everyone is speaking a different language than you are, is dressed differently from you, and has a totally different form of body language than what you’re used to seeing. You don’t know what to do and start to become very anxious. All of a sudden, someone extends a handshake and says to you, “Welcome to our home. We know this is all unfamiliar to you, as your customs are to us, however we will do our best to try and understand your ways of life. All we ask is that you do the same for us. We can learn from each other!”
How wonderful it would be if this were always the case! All too often, the opposite occurs. People see someone who is different and perhaps feel intimidated. Perhaps they view the person as less than. Even worse, they feel compelled to try and make them conform to their ways. Wouldn’t you much rather have the above scenario take place? It’s all we can ask for as human beings.
The next time you run into someone who is autistic, or different from yourself in any way, for that matter, extend that handshake and a smile. You may be making more of an impact on their life than you may realize!
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Thinkstock image by syntika