I have had a lot of experience with Autism before I had my own child who falls on the Autism spectrum. My cousin has Asperger's. I've worked as a therapy technician with children and adults who had various developmental disabilities- including Autism. I worry how my child will be looked at by others. Even though I know that he's a great kid, and I have other people tell me what a great kid he is, I'm worried about future peers, co-workers, bosses, people in the community who might just see his Autism and not his good characteristics.
The other day at McDonalds, he was running around with a little boy the same age as him. He didn't play the same game that the little boy wanted him to play. The boy kept asking,"Why don't you want to play with me?" I explained to the boy that he was playing with him- just in his own way. But you can't really explain to a 4 year old about Autism. My 7 and 8 year old don't even really know much about Autism- just that they love their little brother even though he acts differently sometimes and annoys them by repeating things over and over again.
I know that we've come a long way in teaching other people about Autism, but there is still a long way to go. It's a lot like racism. A lot less people nowadays treat people differently because of the color of their skin than they did in MLK Jr.'s day, but there are still people today that are stuck in the old way of thinking. Times have certainly changed since the Autism label first came out, but there are still people who don't and won't understand Autism. I pray that knowledge will continue to grow and that people will realize just how much impact our special kids have on this world.
Thanks to my friend, Katheren Gomez, for capturing this great
picture of my guy.