Embracing Autism

This weekend I was talking with a good friend of mine (Melissa), and she told me this awesome story.  I wanted to share.

Last week at school, Melissa's 10 year old cousin overheard a group of kids making fun of another kid.  The kid that they were making fun of has Autism.  So this 10 year old boy went over to the other kids, made them line up and started to give them a lecture.  He basically told them that just because people are different doesn't mean that we should treat them differently.  Everyone deserves to be treated well.

What a kid!

The story doesn't stop there.  Melissa's 10 year old cousin was told that he could only invite a handful of kids to his birthday party this year since they were having it at a place where you pay per person.  When he went home that day, he told his mom that there was a kid in his class that he wanted to invite because he never gets invited to parties since the other kids think he's weird.  He told his mom "Mom, he's not weird, he's just autistic."  He worried that this boy might not be able to come to the party because his parents always attend the field trips at school to help him, so they made a special invitation to give to him at school.  There was an invitation for the kid, and a note to the mom telling her that they would really like her son to come to the birthday party, but they understood that he may want her to stay and that she is more than welcome to stay at the party as well.

What a family!

I feel like this is one of those moments where you would be so happy as a parent...on both sides of the story.  I hope that Melissa's cousin realizes that he is an inspiration, and that an attitude like that can literally change the world.  As he goes throughout his life, he will continue to have a big impact on others around him, and will teach acceptance of differences through his words and his example.  He will be a hero to many :)

To his parents, I want to say thank you for raising your son in a way that he would be able to make these beautiful decisions on his own without worrying about who he's going to impress or make upset.  That is true integrity, and it's a difficult thing to instill in others.

Joy Mano
Utah PLAY Project Home Consultant
Early Intervention for Children with Autism

 photo credit: susivinh via photopin cc

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