“This year I ask you to think before you judge, live a day in my small man’s shoes and you will understand how much of a superhero he really is.”
“Autism has locked me inside of a body I cannot control.”
Those are the words ofCarly Fleischmann, a young woman who was diagnosed with severe autism at just 2 years old. Her condition stopped her from speaking, and doctors said she would likely never intellectually develop beyond the mind of a child.
Not all autism looks the same, but there is undoubtedly one consistent thread that runs through the autism spectrum: Everyday life is just plain HARD.
For most of us, it’s hard to imagine the struggles associated with walking through a grocery store, listening tothe radio or sitting down for a haircutbut for someone with autism, those normal activities can be a full-blown nightmare.
As a society, we tend to gravitate toward and expect “normal.” The American culture has created a standard we think people should live by in accordance with age and gender, and if you don’t quite fit into that cookie-cutter mold, you’re likely to be treated as an outcast.
Well, for one mother, she was just plain tired of seeing her son fall prey to that kind of criticism. So this year, Nicole Dugganmade herself a promise to help people understand autism.
Facebook/My Boy Blue
In an effort to do so, Nicole wrote this eye-opening Facebook postto the “judgers” of her 3-year-old son, Riley, and it’s now revolutionizing the perspective of thousands:
When I set up this page I promised myself that this year I would make people understand autism. Every year people make out their goals or wishes for the year. My main wish for this year is to make the “judgers” understand.
When you find out you are going to be a mom, you dream of holding your little baby for the first time, you dream of dressing them up, showing them off and obsessing over their every move. You dream of their first word, the first time they will clap their hands, the first time they wave goodbye and of course their first steps. All of the normal things.
Well in my house these things are far from normal. Yes we had some of them, but they have disappeared. Words were lost, milestones missed and many tears were cried along the way. This is not laziness on his part. It is not him being stubborn and it most certainly is not him acting up.
My little boy is just like your child, he loves to dance, he loves to be cuddled, he cries when he falls, and he adores Mickey mouse. He is however wired differently.
The small things we take for granted every day are the hardest things for him to cope with. Different lights, sounds, smells or even the look of something can cause an overload that is too hard for an adult to deal with, let alone my little boy. “Normal things” such as going shopping, playing in a kids playzone, or even a hair cut can be unbearable for him.
To the people that stare at him because he hums, join in with his little singsong, because in his eyes he is singing the best song in the world.
To the mothers that pull their children away from him, you are creating the bullies of the future. Children dont notice the differences they just want to play, let them.
Facebook/My Boy Blue
To the lady that called him bold in the supermarket, try to look at things from his perspective. An overload of colours and sounds. People whizzing past you. You too would cry your eyes out if you could not tell anyone how you are feeling when it all gets too much.
To the friends that have disappeared, I hope this never knocks on your front door. I would not change my small man for the world and if you cannot understand him and how he works, then you do not deserve to be in his life in the first place.
Children with needs are the bravest, most courageous and most amazing little people in this world. They are fighting battles nobody knows and I guarantee not one adult would make it through half of the obstacles they do. Just because there is not a physical difference does not mean they are simply bold.
So this year I ask you to think before you judge, live a day in my small man’s shoes and you will understand how much of a superhero he really is.