It’s that time of year again. (Although I wasn’t around for the first!) It’s the last day of April. It’s time for this year’s Autism Positivity Flash Blog. This year we were all asked to describe at least one thing that we think is “ausome” about Autism. The goal of this Flash Blog is to have 1,000 bloggers come together to create a list of 1,000 ausome things about Autism. A lofty goal, indeed. But in this “ausome” community it can be done.
The point of this exercise is to help counter the many stigmas, misinformation, negativity, and fear that surrounds Autism and paints it in artificial light. It’s a way for Autistics, care-givers, parents, and allistics to come together to embrace diversity. It’s an exercise with much importance.
But, it is harder than it looks.
It’s hard for me to choose just one characteristic from a group of people that have taught me so much. It’s hard for me to pick just one thing about the most influential person in my life, my daughter. It’s hard for me to single out only one quality that all Autistic’s have because like all people they come in different shapes, sizes, molds, temperaments and colors. They are as different as you and I. It reminds me of an often muttered phrase in the Autism Community – “If you have met one Autistic person; then you have met one Autistic person.” It rings true.
But underneath all of their different qualities lies one trait identical amongst them all. One trait that stands out in their ranks. One trait that I find lacking in the average neurotypical.
They are genuine. Authentic. Bona fide. Sincere. Honest. Giving. Forgiving. Accepting.
They are genuine in their ability to be sincerely felt. They do not pretend to be what they are not and they are not affected enough by others need for “sameness” to try and change themselves. They embrace themselves and their differences in a way I wish most people could embrace themselves.
They are authentic to themselves. What you see is surely what you get. They do not hide their feelings from others – especially when it comes to the cause. If they are happy you will surely know it. If they are not, you too will know this.
They are bona fide. What they claim to be and what they are is one in the same. They never put up a façade. There is never a false front.
They are sincere. In all of their words and gestures, what is deeply felt is expressed.
They are honest in all they do – possessing an honesty with themselves that appears lacking in most. They are honest to others because when you are first honest with yourself it comes naturally.
They are giving. They offer up their knowledge freely and openly. Sharing with the world their truths; no matter how “unsavory” those truths may be. Favors asked are always met with a readily helping hand (even when they don’t have the time.)
They are forgiving even to those who have caused the most hurt in their lives. They seek to forgive those who continually portray their mere existence as worthless. All one has to do is ask for it.
They accept everyone equally. They are not prejudiced. They are not bigoted. They are truly allistic.
I know what you are thinking – you’re thinking that that was more than just one trait. And you’re right. But all of those traits together make up one much bigger. All of those characteristics can be encompassed in just one word: Goodness. Yes, no matter what you have been told, no matter what you think, Autistic’s embody an innate ability for goodness. They are the absolute definition of it. They are wonderful. They are what more people should aspire to be like.