May is here and soon my editor will be back in her most loved park. Like me, she lives for outside days. Filling my mind with spring thoughts, so much comes to mind.
I have recently met some wonderful, and I name them “inspirational,” men and women in a community of people who have a variety of disabilities. How they speak and interact with each other, and then approach those in the typical world, is lived in a way few outside this family of friends would understand.
To the person outside of this community, it might appear their going through life is very different from what people without some form handicap experience. What people who are living outside of the world of disability seem to notice first is how we seem different. Faces may bear certain characteristics associated with genetics and this means there might be preconceived ideas of who this person is or what their lives are like.
The faces of autism are not marked by any hint of the interior struggles life brings. Having autism means our interactions, our lacking in verbal skills and often our different or difficult behavior, betray us and we are judged most harshly. The truth is that we are all very much like you who label yourself normal. We are desiring friends and some of us want romantic connection.
There is the same drama, highly-voiced bickering and gossip that colors your world. Real bonds and deep love is the goal of most and this is no different for us who are called disabled.
When you meet someone with a much different look or behavior than your own, be careful to avoid condescending tones and remember they are more like you than you know.