Two routes lead to my house, and for reasons I cannot remember, I follow one route when going out and follow the other when returning home. (I guess it’s just a weird habit) Recently, a motorcyclist tried taking my ‘out-route’ on my way home, and somehow my brain revolted. I insisted that he passed through the ‘in-route’ instead. He didn’t get why I had to insist; both routes led to the same house anyway. What he didn’t understand was that it had become a routine for me – my claim to sameness.
When I got down from the bike and started off towards my front door, it occurred to me that the kids I work with also craved the same thing I insisted on. The only difference was that I could communicate my own need for routine, but they couldn’t.
We cannot deny the fact that individuals with autism are different – in behaviour, social skill, and definitely communication skills. But are they less humans because they are different?
Usually they have similar needs like us, but challenges of the disorder have served as limitations to getting their needs met. My desire for routine is definitely similar to the desire for routine by a child on the autism spectrum. Just like every other individual, children with autism are seeking for love, acceptance, and a right to be themselves.
They want you to see beyond the disorder and see them as individuals.
They want you to be patient with them as they learn to manage the limitations and challenges they are faced with.
They want to love you and be loved in return.
Will you at least try?
Written by Adelola Edema, tweets at @pdelols
Kindly support The Autism Support Circle Initiative (TASCI) by showing some love to the autistic child you know and educating the public around you on his/her need for social acceptance. Do follow the Twitter handle @theautism_sci