Autism Awareness 2022

“We all have something that makes us different!”
I don’t remember the exact conversation we were having when my 6-year-old son made this declaration, but I remember feeling so proud as a parent.
Here’s why.
It was just the week before that we had been discussing what it meant to have autism. My kids and I had attended an event for families of children with special needs that was sponsored by an organization called Autism ALLways. As we drove home, I used the opportunity to discuss autism.

I stumbled my way through the teachable moment, worrying that my words were not quite right. I wanted to relay the message that autism is not “bad” or “less than”, and that it is just one of many ways that a person can be different or special.
We discussed my daughter’s best friend (whom my son ADORES) and how autism is part of what makes her special. And we discussed unique things about each of us that make us who we are.
I guess I babbled too much, because my son began to tune out of the car conversation. I thought I had blown that talk.
Then about one week later, he makes this statement.
He got it! He heard my message. And now he understands that autism is not a big deal; it’s just one thing that makes some of our best friends so special.
“We all have something that makes us different.”
Yes, my sweet boy, we do.

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