Monday, 30 April 2012
Dear “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”,
As I’m sitting here wondering what to write to you, I can’t help but smile at the contrast with my own Aspie. Pudding is just five, and she is twirling in front of a mirror saying, “two Puddings.” In her mind, the only thing better than Pudding, is there being more than one of her. How right she is.
I wonder if things will change, if she will change. If she views the many ways she is unique as a burden, rather than a blessing. If there will ever be a time she types, “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers” into a search engine, just like you did. If she does, I’ll feel like I lost.
I’ll feel like I lost my chance to show her all the many ways the world is a better place because she is who she is.
I’m not diagnosed with Asperger’s. I’ve never experienced the many ways your life is profoundly more difficult than mine. But others have. They’ve experienced a lifetime of misunderstanding, ridicule, humiliation, and even abuse, and have taken it upon themselves to change things. Because they know they don’t need to change, but the world does.
There have been some victories- efforts that have resulted in greater understanding, support and inclusion. But there is a way to go. Advocates and their allies are pressing on for greater awareness of alternative communication methods, sensory processing differences, the need for improved housing, education and support for autistic individuals throughout the lifespan.
You have to know that you are worth these efforts. You have to know that the world is changing because of an incredible community that you are part of, because you have Asperger’s. You are not alone.
The next time someone googles “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s”, they’re going to find a whole community of support waiting for them. Because of you.
The only thing better than you, is more than one of you. Just ask my girl.
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