What Autism Awareness Month means to Cadence.

The month of April is Autism Awareness Month. April 2nd is World Autism Day. Both seem to mean different things to different people. So I asked Cadence what she thought it might mean:

“Something people do so other people learn that being different is normal – because not all grown-ups had good parents who taught them that everyone is different; so even though they are grown-ups, they still need to learn that different is normal”.

Her phrasing that sticks with me, “being different is normal”.

There is truth in her words – no two people are the same – we all have different characteristics, different strengths, different challenges, different hair and skin color, different shaped eyes, different personalities and different physical abilities.

‘Autism’, of course, is somewhat more of a difference than say, one’s hair color; and deciphering and engaging in this wonderful world of ours, is, in many cases, more challenging for folks on the Autism Spectrum than those who is not.

I look forward to the remarkable things that can, and will, achieved, when Autism – when perceiving, experiencing and responding to the world differently – is simply seen as a ‘normal’ component of the wide ranging differences that form this wonderful world of ours – which like many differences between people, requires appropriate support, accommodations and respect, to ensure people on the Spectrum, are an active part of humanity, rather than disabled by it.

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