Thursday, April 26, 2012

Us vs Them. Again.

On Friday, April 27, I will be a guest on the Autism Women's Network program (see widget to the right --->). It truly is an honor. As anyone can see from viewing my blog, autism, including the "pink" end of the Autism Spectrum, is very important to me. Understanding it, increasing awareness about it, accepting those who are on it, and encouraging everyone to see each other as people.

Yes, people.

Unfortunately, there is often too much talk (regarding those on the higher functioning end, such as Asperger's) about "fixing them".

Or, should I say, "fixing them".


I never have liked that word. It draws a line in the sand and separates us into "us" vs "them."

And, if you'd ask my daughter, she'd say hers is not the group "in need of fixing".

And why does everyone need "fixing", anyway?

Personally, I'd like to see each other as, well, each other. Neighbors. Coworkers. Daughters. People who have so much to contribute to society, if only "us" would let "them."

From time to time, I ask folks on my book's Facebook page  or Twitter what it is about Asperger's that makes them happy. For many, it is an increase in perspective and a new way of looking at things. For some, intelligence. For others, it can be as complex as having help embedding some sort of technological contraption into some unpronounceable program, or as simple as pushing us to cut through the "fluff" of so many things in order to see the true picture. These answers come from both Aspies and their parents.

As Autism Awareness Month rounds out, let's choose to understand each other. To agree to disagree at times. To learn from each other. (Heaven knows my kid teaches me so very much!) To listen, truly listen to each other, whether or not "someone uses eye contact and appropriate inflection". Listening to different voices and perspectives does wonders to shape our own, doesn't it?

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