My son’s point of view: autism doesn’t make him different

My son and I had our first conversation about autism.

“You know you have autism?”

“Mmm hmm.”

“What does that mean?”

He thought for a while.

“I don’t know.  I don’t know what it means.”

I thought about that for a few minutes.  How could he know what that means?  It is just… well… him.  His thinking… his culture… his way of being…

I said, “Well, I think that autism means that you think differently.  Your brain is wired differently than mine.”

Inside I was wrestling… isn’t everyone wired differently?  I think so.  Is it important that he knows he has autism?  Well, yes.  But why?

I asked him, “Do you think your autism makes you different or the same as other kids?”

“I am the same as everybody else.”  Hooray!

Pause.

“But Miss J.  (his TSS) wants me to be different.”

“How so?”

Pause.

“Oh, just forget it.  Give her a call and find out.”

Miss J. helps him follow the rules at school.  He probably wants to be like the other kids and not follow the rules.  Maybe.  I don’t know.

I do know that his autism does make him “different.”  I love the old Arby’s slogan, “Different is good.”  It will be interesting to see how he develops in the coming years.

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