Today is World Autistic Pride Day, and there is so much to be proud of! Our world is much richer because of the different viewpoints of Aspies and Autistic people.
Be proud of thinking differently!
Temple Grandin says the following about the option of being cured: “If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am.”
She reminds neurotypicals, “I am different, not less.” – Temple Grandin
Albert Einstein addressed the importance of divergent thinkers as well. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.“
Neurodiversity has become even more important now as we are faced with more and more complex problems in the world. We will need the input of many perspectives to solve the current dilemmas we are in.
In her book The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s, Temple Grandin shared this anecdote regarding humanity’s progress without the autism spectrum:
“What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool?
You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.”
Our differences in thinking have allowed humanity to progress.
Differences are beautiful!
Maya Angelou shared: “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
Acceptance of others’ differences and allowing for their needs when designing shared spaces will create environments where all people have the opportunity to shine.
Sometimes the needs of people with ASD are misinterpreted.
When a person with Asperger’s Syndrome or autism seeks a quiet space, neurotypicals can interpret that as a lack in desire to have friends. They are mistaken in that thought. Although Audrey Hepburn is not considered to be on the spectrum, she has beautifully shared the sentiment behind needing some time to oneself. “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” She also shared, “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.“
But let’s keep moving forward towards more and more acceptance.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde
“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.“- Maya Angelo
Despite the challenges, we must continue to embrace and celebrate differences.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”- Audrey Hepburn
“I don’t want my thoughts to die with me, I want to have done something. I’m not interested in power, or piles of money. I want to leave something behind. I want to make a positive contribution – know that my life has meaning.” ― Temple Grandin
Once again, Happy Autistic Pride Day!
Rebecca J. Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating positive strategies? Contact Us at IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.