Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Spectrum of Similarities

As I read that horrible letter by that horrible person I focused on the words that were written. There were words being used to describe young Max that were vile… disgusting… evil.  Then I started to realize that those words were not being used to describe Max at all. They were venom… nothing more and nothing less.

So what words could be used to describe Max? I don’t have access to his family, but I do have access to a lot of others. So I asked on the Real Husbands of Autism page for parents and autistics alike to throw out one word to describe the autistic loved one in their life, or themselves if they were autistic. In a short amount of time we had over 125 descriptions and you know what is interesting about them? Not one of them was used by that hateful person in the letter aimed at Max.

Do you want to know why? Because she doesn't KNOW Max. All she knows is hate.

But when you ask for a description of an autistic person that comes from a place of familiarity, you get an entirely different set of words to describe people on the spectrum. And speaking of spectrum, there was something else I noticed.

We have all heard the saying, “If you have met one person with autism, you have met ONE person with autism”. That is true if we are talking about quirks, stims, sensitivities… but what I discovered is that is not so true when we look at the content of their character. As I read each boastful description, I noticed that the author’s sons and daughters could easily be my daughter.

Suddenly that “spectrum” did not seem so wide.

And with that revelation, the anger and hate I had in my heart towards that “pissed off mother” turned to pity. I feel bad for her. I feel bad that she clearly has not been surrounded by anybody that can be described by the following terms… the words used to describe so many fabulous and loved autistic people.

As you read them, ask yourself if they apply to your loved one or to yourself if you are autistic and allow the smile to come across your face and the warmth to envelope your body.

Adventurer, affectionate, alert, amazing, angelic, artistic, astounding, awe-inspiring, awesome, awesomesauce, ballsy, beautiful, beloved, big-boy, bouncy, brooding, captivating, character, charmer, charming, clown, comedic, commander, complex, counselor, courageous, creative, cuddly, deep, destructive, destructor, determined, dinolicious, diva, effervescent, efficient, energetic, enigma, enigmatic, enthusiastic, epic, excited, exuberant, fabulous, fantastic, fearless, fun, fun-loving, funny, gamer, genius, gentle, giggler, giggly, gift, happy, heartfelt, heartwarming, hero, hilarious, honest, huggable, hysterical, imaginative, impish, impulsive, incredible, innocent, inquisitive, insatiable, intelligent, intense, inventive, irreplaceable, joyful, laughing, loud, love, loving, loyal, magnificent, marvelous, masterpiece math, mischievous, moving, musical, ninja, pedantic, precious, precocious, princess, quirky, rawrsome, relentless, roller-coaster-junkie, savior, scientist, sensitive, serious, shredder, silly, smug, soft-toy-humper, spider-man, spinner, stinker, strong, suave, sunshine, suspicious, sweet, sweetheart, taperecorderwizard, tender, unstoppable, vivacious, volatile, whimsical, whirlwind, wild, wonderful

When we talk of a “spectrum” we focus on the differences. Perhaps we need to focus on the similarities.

This amazing kid is mine... but she is so much like yours. She is loved.
If you have not already, please take time to watch my videos, "Fixing" Autism and Autism Awareness with Nichole337 and share them with your friends.

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  1. I love this!! While our kiddos are different, in so many ways they are the same and the best gifts we can ever receive :-)

  2. I cried and I smiled....mostly cried because I smiled :-) Thanks for everything you do!