Everyone has something to offer
2 things that autistic have in common with everyone else.
In the autistic community it is often said, “If you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.”
That said, all of the autistic I have met have two things in common.
The want to be loved. Just like you, and me and everyone else. Just loved.
And they all have something they are good at. Maybe not Rain Man good. But good, even if they don’t know what it is yet.
My son included. He gives the very best hugs. He will hold your hand and tell you not to cry when he sees you are sad. He has even tucked me into bed when I was really sick.
He is brilliant at building roads, tracks and paths.
He can spend hours designing roads, signs, lights, medians, turn lanes, the whole thing.
Each of them make sense too, the signs are in the right places, the lanes match on each side, you can almost imagine traffic flow.
He can do this with marble runs, train tracks if it has a flow he can do it.
However, he can’t tell you why this or that works, or doesn’t.
He writes on the level of an average 3 year old. He types about the same as a 5 year old. His verbal skills are a work in progress.
So for him to use his thing he would need a helper, someone who can see what he does and help explain it to others.
I hope someday I can make this happen for him.
We all have things we are good at, on the spectrum or not.
We may never find it, but I have yet to met anyone who is an exception.
I do admit sometimes finding a way to use that thing is difficult.
If we can though, it is amazing!
As a society we have to look at these things, these special people can do and not the ones they can’t.
We have to help find their thing.
Then we have to figure out how to make it work for all of us.
There are a few companies that are seeking out people like my son who have something they are great at and working with it.
It is awesome!
However it is not enough.
We all need to include differently abled adults in our lives.
Each of us needs to see that everyone has something to offer, even if it is just cuddles. We have to find a way help make it work for them and for us. (There is evidence that cuddling with preemies greatly improves their growth and helps get them out of neonatal units much faster, if we can get insurance or donations to help pay for people to do it!)
So that parents like me can hope, instead of staying up all night trying to figure out who will care for them when we can’t anymore.
Frightened that it will be too much pressure will this put on his siblings.
Unsure if he will be safe, and cared for and loved.
Trying hard to figure out how to help him be productive enough to have a life when I can’t be there to take care of him.
I ask of you, if you have a chance to include a disabled adult in your life, in your work, please do.
It will be so rewarding for everyone.