Respect those who are different
April is Autism Awareness month, a month where people around the country and world are encouraged to bring awareness and to talk about the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Over the years, Autism and other disorders and disabilities have become more acceptable in society.
One of the main reasons for this is because over the years, more and more celebrities, and other famous people have come forward and talked about their disabilities and what they go through on a daily basis. Many of those people talking about their struggles about being on the Autism Spectrum.
The truth is many people have some form of Autism and you may not even realize it.
According to the CDC, 1 out of 59 children in the world were diagnosed with Autism in 2018.
These children are our neighbors, friends, family members, friends of our children, our students and our community members.
As adults they may be our co worker, our children’s teacher, our pastor or anything in between. The reality is many people around the world may be on the Autism Spectrum, many that we know, and we may have no idea that they are.
The reason you may not know that they have Autism is because they are able to use their strengths to help them overcome their difficulties.
Growing up, I struggled with a nonverbal learning disability, which made it difficult for me in school. Early on in life, I learned that I needed to work harder than others in life in certain areas, and I knew I needed to do things differently to get the same results as people.
Through my struggles in life, I learned about different strengths I have and have used them to make up for the other difficulties I have. The truth is growing up no one ever expected that I would ever be a newspaper reporter one day. I remember when I wrote my first newspaper article for the Boston Herald a few years ago, one of my high school English teachers was very surprised and really couldn’t believe it.
Luckily for me, I was surrounded by people in college who believed in me and knew that my strengths including interpersonal skills, and innovative thinking would help me succeed one day even if some of my other skills were weak.
I encourage everyone to remember to respect people who are different than you. You don’t know the struggles that others are going through.