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“Your kids don’t look like they have autism.”
I get this comment a lot and I have great empathy for it. We’ve been taught to believe disabilities are visible. Sometimes it’s hard to go past a picture and see a person.
So I always reply with some gentle form of this:
Can you see my depression?
Can you see my husband’s failing heart?
What about the triathlete that has diabetes?
Or the brain surgeon who’s dyslexic?
My children’s autism is just one of their many layers. The problem is, most people think the spectrum looks like what social media and movies have presented it to be, so it’s confusing to see kids who make eye contact, smile, and talk, and still consider them autistic.
But they are. And it shouldn’t matter if they are high functioning or low, it should only matter that they are fully seen and helped to grow.
We all have an invisible disability, something that marks us as different. And sometimes those needs are easy to see—like wheelchairs or flapping hands—and sometimes they’re hidden.
But what a wonderful world this would be if we were all included not in spite of our disabilities, but because of them.
If we could be proud of what the world has coined as our imperfections.
And the only way that will happen, is if we teach people to look through a lens of kindness and live their imperfectly perfect lives out loud.
To More Love,