Accepting classmates with Autism


Written by a 10 year old from Wesley Chapel, FL. 

Today, I want to talk about why everyone should take a stand for Autism awareness and acceptance. 

     Growing up I was surrounded by some great friends who I always had a good time with, but I noticed a couple stood out. I had a lot of fun with them anyways, but I still wondered why did they seem different ?  They had struggles in school like everyone else, but why did they stand out more than others?

      Some would flap their hands when they got excited or nervous. Others would rock side to side in their chairs to calm themselves down. Sometimes kids would pick on them for this. At this point I did not understand why my friends did the things they did, or why the other kids would pick on them for just being themselves. It really hit home with me because my brother does these things and to me they seemed “ Normal’. Last year I found out the answer my brother and some of my friends had Autism! While they may struggle at some things , they were good at many other things. For example, my brother has an amazing memory, knows every movie or video game release date, is great at math and even helps me when my parents can not with math homework. He is also into coding iPhone apps and won second place in a competition this year. Why does autism awareness and acceptance matter it matters because if you are aware you acept them and get it.

So, what Is Autism?

According to Autism Speaks, Autism is a brain based disorder. It is found in every 1- 42 boys and 1-189 girls. The Autism spectrum ranges from mild to severe, and no two people with Autism are the same. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability. This means the brains of someone with Autism functions differently. Autism is not a disease you can not catch Autism so you do not need to avoid someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kids with autism see, hear, smell and touch the world differently. Some with severe autism can not control their bodies, so don’t make fun of them, instead talk to them calmly and ask if everything is ok? My friends with Autism are some of the most nice and caring people i know, who just want to make friends and be accepted like the rest of us. 

Just because someone has autism, that doesn't mean they can’t do great things in life! There are many celebrities that have autism: According to an article on the Huffington Post, Award winning actor Dan Aykroyd, we know him from Ghost Busters, but he has starred in many movies. Daryl Hannah who has played in many movies including “The Little Rascals save the day” revealed she has autism not to mention famous singer Susan Boyle also revealed she has autism! 

In the 1940’s Autism became a disorder that was recognized by the medical community, but it has been around for even longer. I read a lot of articles including one on when I was researching Autism and in many of them they said that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol and even Albert Einstein displayed autistic like behavior. 

You can learn a lot from a friend with autism and they can learn a lot from you too. If you see someone having a hard time making friends, or sitting by themselves, go say hi and start a conversation with them. Or, the next time you see a kid flapping, making noises, rocking back and forth or just having a hard time, be kind to them! They are just like the rest of us, they want to learn, laugh and live life to the fullest. You may say kids with Autism are not normal, None of us are. We are all different in our own way! Now that you are aware of autism and how it affects our friends and loved ones, are you going to accept them for who they are, just as they accept you for who you are? We don’t know if there will ever be a cure for autism, but why would you want to change someone for being who they are? 

Who is going to stand with me on April 2nd and wear blue for Autism Awareness day? 

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