judging autism
Some people might feel like the topic of autism is a more common today than ever before. While autism is no recent discovery, this goes to show how awareness and understanding is being spread widely. The more we hear and learn about autism, the more normalized it becomes – not that we should spend our lives striving to be “normal.” In fact, that’s what is so special about autism, it’s so unique. The condition is unique, as well as the people affected by it.

What is Autism?

Autism is a condition that ranges on a spectrum of severity and symptoms. Impacting the nervous system, some common symptoms include: difficulty communicating and interacting socially, having obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Symptoms are reduced by early recognition, along with behavioral, educational, and family therapies.

Autism Stereotypes

Autism is on a spectrum because it’s not one diagnosis that represents everyone the same way. This makes it somewhat challenging for people to understand – so then what is it? When people think of a person with autism, they usually think of Rain Man. While the Dustin Hoffman movie did give autism some exposure, it doesn’t represent every autistic person. Not everyone struggles with socializing while being extremely smart in math. Rain Man has become the biggest autistic stereotype.

Some people struggle with communicating vocally, while others love to talk. Some are good with numbers and science, while others might be more creative and abstract thinkers. Others could be extremely book smart, while others struggle with learning disabilities.

Celebrating Uniqueness

Autism as a disorder doesn’t fit into particular mold; nor can we put an autistic person in a box. There’s a variety of therapies to support the development and learning of autistic children and their families. We want to help children function in everyday life, but we don’t want to force them into a box. We should help them flourish without trying to mold into what’s viewed as “normal.”

The condition can make autistic people think differently, in unique ways. Some will have very vivid imaginations and live in abstract worlds. We should celebrate their uniqueness and explore what makes them extraordinary. We don’t want to suppress the kind of thinking and perspective that we could benefit from. That’s what makes them outstanding, they stand out and can’t fit in a box.

We shouldn’t make judgements towards those with autism because we don’t think they’re “normal.” We could learn from them too.
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