Wednesday, 22 March 2017 09:51

Puzzled by those who don’t know the struggle

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World Autism Day is coming up on April 2, it is a day for awareness about autism and the puzzle piece is recognized is recognized as an symbol for awareness.
It is something that Parents of Autistics started in England back in the 1950s or ’60s because of the disorder.
Since the 1990s autistics have been disowning the symbol of the puzzle piece as an awareness symbol by saying “I am person not a puzzle.” That is because a person on the autistic spectrum understands themselves and their disorder. Much like those with a physical disorder will understand their disorder with time.
I will take this one step further.
I do not understand people who are not on the autistic spectrum. They are the puzzle to me. I will qualify that though. I do understand what we on autistic spectrum sometimes call “cousins,” those with mental illness and ADHD, but only to some extent, not completely. I think the puzzle of people is in the eye of the beholder.
I don’t think I will ever understand people who are not exactly like me but I do not have to to like being with them and enjoy their company. I do not have to change them to be like everyone else.
This is what puzzles me the most about people who are not on the autistic spectrum.
Diane MacNaughton
Medicine Hat

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