My interactions with disabled individuals, from cousins to classmates, started at a very young age. My most impactful experiences likely came from my mother working at a group home. Some children were wheelchair-dependent, some spoke, some didn’t speak so well, and some did not seem like they belonging there. At that time, I didn’t completely understand why people were ‘different’. But I always understood that, no matter their appearance or abilities, they deserved compassion and respect.
When I was younger, the terms ‘Autism’ and ‘Autistic’ were not including in my language. However, I believe that my experiences and interactions with the disabled helped to prepare me for one of my most challenging – and rewarding – roles, being a mother of a disabled, Autistic child. My family’s journey with Autism started over six years ago, even though we only became aware of this journey last year.
The journey has been full of challenges, but the biggest challenge for me is not knowing! Not knowing if he hurts. Not knowing the healthiest foods that he will eat. Not knowing the best methods for him to learn. Not knowing if I have what he needs to maximize his success. He doesn’t have many words to vocalize his needs and wants, but he has plenty of potential role models who have experienced some of the things he has, and some things he will, experience.
This week, I have started a project to collect work from autistic authors who want to share their knowledge and educate others about their perspective of Autism. I can’t imagine a better expert to relay these life lessons. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all are teachers and students. Let’s support our Autistic authors and let the know that their voices are important to us!
If you know an Autistic author of books, blogs, etc., please leave the information in the comments area, or email me at NotMadMotivated@gmail.com.
We are the support that we need!