Thursday, November 1, 2012

To You, Young Autistic Friend

To You, Young Autistic Friend by Amy Sequenzia

Trigger Warning for the possibility of ableist comments

Autistic advocate and poet Amy Sequenzia's message of acceptance and respect for young autistics for 2012 Autistics Speaking Day. "There is nothing wrong with being who you are. You are perfect in your uniqueness."

ASDay button v2 participant 1

Welcome to our community!
I think you might be a little confused.
Maybe you see and hear people saying things about you
As if those things are bad
Maybe people react to your presence in a strange way

First, let me say this: there is nothing wrong with you

Your brain works differently
You react to things differently
You process things differently
Because you are not part of a neurotypical majority

We are part of a neurominority
But there is nothing wrong with you

Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed
Sounds will be too loud, lights too bright
Your brain and your body will deal with this
The best way they can

But the people who still can’t understand
How we feel and process things,
That we need to do things we call stimming
Might say you are “not right”
They will try to “fix” you

But you are not broken

Maybe you will feel sick sometimes
Many of us do
But do not despair
This does not mean you are “wrong”

Some of us prefer to be alone
We might not like to be touched
Some surfaces make us hurt
This is not a reason to be sad
We are just different, we feel things “too much”

You will have amazing abilities
That might be hidden inside
Maybe you can’t speak but can type
I can’t wait to listen to what you have to say

There is nothing wrong with being different

I have to prepare you though
For the hardest part of your journey
You will hear very bad things
Definitions that don’t really say who you are

These hurtful words may even come from your parents
Before they realize how useless such words are
The words may come from the so-called experts
But they don’t know as much as you and me

You are perfect in your uniqueness

So, every time you hear that you are broken or “lost”
Every time you feel rejected and pitied for being autistic
Know that the problem is not because of who you are
It is the world that does not understand our needs and our differences

It will not always be easy
But you can succeed despite the difficulties
We are trying to show the world our worth
We have some allies in the neurotypical majority

Welcome young autistic friend!
We reach out to you
We know with certainty

There is nothing wrong with being who you are.

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