Amy Sequenzia: To You, Young Autistic Friend

 

Welcome to our community!

I think you might be a little confused.

Maybe you see and hear people saying things about you

As if those things are bad

Maybe people react to your presence in a strange way

 

First, let me say this: there is nothing wrong with you

 

Your brain works differently

You react to things differently

You process things differently

Because you are not part of a neurotypical majority

 

We are part of a neurominority

But there is nothing wrong with you

 

Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed

Sounds will be too loud, lights too bright

Your brain and your body will deal with this

The best way they can

 

But the people who still can’t understand

How we feel and process things,

That we need to do things we call stimming

Might say you are “not right”

They will try to “fix” you

 

But you are not broken

 

Maybe you will feel sick sometimes

Many of us do

But do not despair

This does not mean you are “wrong”

 

Some of us prefer to be alone

We might not like to be touched

Some surfaces make us hurt

This is not a reason to be sad

We are just different, we feel things “too much”

 

You will have amazing abilities

That might be hidden inside

Maybe you can’t speak but can type

I can’t wait to listen to what you have to say

 

There is nothing wrong with being different

 

I have to prepare you though

For the hardest part of your journey

You will hear very bad things

Definitions that don’t really say who you are

 

These hurtful words may even come from your parents

Before they realize how useless such words are

The words may come from the so-called experts

But they don’t know as much as you and me

 

You are perfect in your uniqueness

 

So, every time you hear that you are broken or “lost”

Every time you feel rejected and pitied for being autistic

Know that the problem is not because of who you are

It is the world that does not understand our needs and our differences

 

It will not always be easy

But you can succeed despite the difficulties

We are trying to show the world our worth

We have some allies in the neurotypical majority

 

Welcome young autistic friend!

We reach out to you

We know with certainty

 

There is nothing wrong with being who you are.

 

 

 

Copyright 2012 by Amy Sequenzia

Read more from Amy here. Please check out Autistics Speaking Day and Autistics Speaking Day on FB to read more . Autistics Speaking Day was established to raise Autism awareness and Acceptance, and battle negative stereotypes about Autism. To advocate for the inclusion of Autistic people in the community. To offer a forum to broadcast stories and thoughts, and to help the messages of Autistic people and non-Austistic allies reach as many people as possible.

About the Author:

Amy Sequenzia is a non-speaking Autistic, multiply disabled activist and writer. Amy writes about disability rights, civil rights and human rights. She also writes poetry. Amy has presented in several conferences in the US and abroad, and her work is featured in books about being Autistic and Disabled. Amy is deeply involved with the Neurodiversity Movement and has been outspoken about the rights and worthy of disabled people. Amy serves on the Board of Directors of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST). http://nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com and Autism Women’s Network. You can also follow Amy on Twitter at @AmySequenzia.

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