With the backdrop of Hollywood churning out movies with comic book heroes we can lose sight of what real life heroes look like, and they rarely wear spandex, except maybe to yoga class. They appear quite ordinary and are overlooked. In fact, many heroes avoid attention. They would rather get on with what they do. That is not to say that the heroes hiding in our communities dislike compliments. These heroes love to hear that another person’s life is improved by their efforts after all that’s why they help.

The ASD community is filled with these unsung heroes in the guise of parents, teachers, and friends. Here are examples of some of their incredible accomplishments:

  • An entrepreneur mom started a business so that her autistic son and others with autism have a place to work.
  • A caring dad taught his daughter with Asperger’s how to take calming deep breaths when she was really upset, and now she is able to self-calm.
  • A teacher incorporated sensory strategies into instruction, recognizing that what helps a student with autism really benefits the whole class.
  • A social worker created and continues to facilitate a club for people with ASD to meet and hang out with others that have similar interests.
  • A friend showed support for difficult moments and encouraged their autistic friend to try something different and a bit challenging.

Autistic and Aspie boys and girls, men and women, every day try their best to work through a world that is, at the most benign, unaware of their different needs. They deal with a world that can be compassionate but with low expectations for people with ASD. At other times the world can be hostile. Through all of this, the heroes with autism persevere, showing the world their talents, art, and caring, all with a unique viewpoint.

Can you believe how many heroes we have around us? Some of these accomplishments appear larger, some smaller. However, even the smallest gesture contributes and encourages society in a positive direction. That small gesture can be a huge moment for the person involved.

What heroes have you noticed? Join in the conversation and let us know!

Did any of these people remind you of someone? Share your hero with us!

Rebecca J. Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating your success strategies? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.