They were born different, like everyone else. They saw colors more vivid than we. They pin-pointed and zeroed in on specific items while we just saw whatever the item was as a jumbled mess together. They believed in things that we wouldn’t, or couldn’t, simply because we couldn’t see them or feel them. The light in them shined brighter than the sun.
We decided that different wasn’t an option. All over the world, others were persecuted and punished because they believed in different things. We refused to have an open mind on anything, and we shunned away those who spoke differently. They wondered what was wrong with them, why people disliked them so much. Was it only because they were able to see the things we weren’t? Was it because they could take in the world in a non-jaded perspective? No, it wasn’t them. It was us. While we formed hatred for the unknown, their light just kept shining.
Eventually, we were able to put a name to the difference. Autism is what we called it. And while we began finding the answers, our opinions never changed. We stood firm in our decision that different was bad, horrible, world-ending, and we began hiding these people in poorly staffed, poorly funded institutions for different tortuous endeavors in the name of science and “finding a cure”. And yet, the light kept shining.
This all sounds ridiculous, right? You’re saying to yourself “What?! I never did that! I took no part in that! Different is good! I’m original!” And that’s great that you see it that way, but ask yourself: When was the last time you did something to support the “different” people? Did you stand by while someone made a discouraging remark about someone having some sort of difficulty? Did you drop words like “retard” in general conversation about someone, just because? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
See, we’re getting answers. They’re slow-going, and more things are learned each and every day, but the answers ARE coming. While that’s great, there are still so many ignorant people that want to sit back and refuse it all. They want to say “Well, when kids used to act that way, their parents just used to whip them with a belt and everything was fine.” I’ll be the first to admit, when I didn’t know much, I was the same way.
But now I know. I’ve seen it. I’ve held it in my arms. My porch light may be shining blue for Autism Awareness Day, but my real light came from the blue in a certain little boy’s eyes. And, admittedly, it came as more of a fire than a simple light.
No, he’s not biologically mine. No, he’s not near me. No, he’s not a kid to be held back by closed-minded people. He’s a rockstar through and through, and if you were to meet him, he’d set the light blazing in you, too. He’s amazing. He’s brave. He’s beyond intelligent.
He’s only 1 in 88.
I urge you. Educate yourself before you make more mistakes like casting a quick judgement on kids, or people in general, like him or not. He’s going to change the world, that boy is.
You’re all mothers to some wonderful rockstars that’ll change the world and the way the outsiders view it.