Beth of Behaviour Babble reached out to me a few months back asking me to contribute to an article that she was pulling together. I was honored by her request to share my thoughts on autism. Specifically, the questions she asked were,
“What have you learned from working with children with autism? How did having them in your life make you grow as a person?”
Here is the article. I definitely recommend you reading it because the other contributors offer such amazing insights and observations. If you have a moment, please give Behaviour Babble a follow on Facebook as well.
I will offer this as an addition to the article.
The greatest challenges we face as a society is the disconnection that we experience between each other. Humanity thrives when we are connected with each other. We thrive individually and collectively when we are connected. Conversely, our greatest struggles, suffering, and failures occur when we are disconnected. Disconnection is an entropic state. It happens just like entropy. Connection, on the other hand, is a behavior or series of behaviors. It takes action to accomplish.
Connecting is a choice we must make. When we are feeling hurt, alone, afraid, and frustrated, we need to choose to connect rather than disconnect. It applies to all of humanity, and if we succeed in connecting then we can overcome any challenge we face as a species.
The reality is that the challenges that come with Autism and more specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder are almost all solved by choosing to connect with each other. It doesn’t mean the solution is easy. Connecting comes with sacrifice. It is difficult when you don’t understand what the other person is experience, but the yearning to connect is there for all of us. Perhaps the other person does not know or understand how to communicate this, but my experience both as an autistic, as well as a professional support individuals affected by ASD as well as other challenges. Choose to connect with each other.