I read a post by a fellow blogger today on the blog Slam Dunks that made me want to write this today. I encourage you to read her latest post entitled Dancing With Shadows. In it she describes her son with PDD-NOS which is on the Spectrum of Autism. I don’t know how to describe how I felt upon reading this. I thought, if only more people had the same outlook she does.
A couple of months ago I went to a seminar suggested to me by my in-laws on Autism in Hershey, PA. At first I was hesitant. Too many times I find something that could be wonderful for those of us with Autism only to find that it’s another rally, presentation, or group hell-bent on a cure. We don’t need a cure. We need people to understand that we’re people, too. Just because someone with Autism doesn’t interact with you on the same frequency as you do, doesn’t mean they need to be fixed. It just means they’re doing it a different way. It’s not to be feared, but embraced. I had become very bitter about the Autism Awareness movement. I joined groups here in Loudoun County, VA only to find the same thing. CURE, CURE, CURE! So I did my research on the man giving the seminar and I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. I found a man, William Stillman, living with Asperger’s and sharing his experiences and abilities with the public.
I went to the seminar. All I have to say is that it was life changing. It’s almost like you’re alone in the world and then you’re not in a split second. I was so excited not only for myself but for my son and the sons and daughter and patients and friends and relatives of everyone else seated in that room. I spent most of my life trying to figure out what my strange behavior was about and then trying to hide it once I figured it out. But there, amidst all of those people I felt comfortable enough to be myself. If you can get to one of his seminars, do it! If you can get one of his books, read it! If I can get him to come to Loudoun County, I’m going to do it!