What is autism?
At first glance, so many people see autism as a limitation. They mistakenly believe that it is a “disease” that needs to be cured. Autism is not a disease. Nor is it a condition where the individual is broken, sick, wrong or bad. Autism is a difference in the neurological processing of incoming data. Period.
Our loved ones with autism don’t need to be “fixed” anymore than someone with blue eyes needs to have brown eyes, or someone with blonde hair needs to have brown.
Understanding the Limitations
On the other hand, it is important that we understand what having autism means specifically so we can understand their limitations. Everything has “limitations.” For example, an oak tree will never make maple syrup. No matter how much it wants to, or how hard it believes, or how much therapy you give it, it is an oak tree, and as an oak tree it makes acorns. That’s the divine plan. The maple tree makes maple syrup, and the oak tree makes acorns. That is part of the beauty of the diversity of the universe.
Similarly, an individual with autism has a mind that works a certain way. It is simply and beautifully what it is…a mind that operates differently than a neuro-typical mind. The expectations placed on our loved ones with autism by some people, are akin to expecting maple syrup from an oak tree. If that is your expectation, you will certainly find “limitations.”
“Perhaps a hefty dose of simple acceptance is the first step toward integrating these beloved individuals into our world community.”
As parents. when we recognize the nature of the autistic brain rather than focusing on the the limitations, we do a great service to ourselves, our child, and the world.
Perhaps a hefty dose of simple acceptance is the first step toward integrating these beloved individuals into our world community.
There is nothing more compassionate we can do than to understand what is autism, and our loved ones with autism. When we become more compassionate about their struggles to process a world that is not designed for their way of thinking, we can more easily provide the unconditional love of a parent.
If you are a parent and trying to “therapize” a child into being non-autistic, or into acting like someone who is not on the spectrum, you are probably going to run into their “limitations.”
But once you understand what is autism, and work with it instead of trying to change it, the sky is the limit!