Autism Is NOT Stupidity
Posted January 20, 2011on:
Nicky came home school, crying, yesterday. One of his classmates told him that his drawings “sucked”. Nicky’s confidence is shaky. It hurts me that it is. I understand it, I do what I can to build his self-esteem, yet I won’t lie to him either and give him false hope. But Nicky is talented when it comes to drawing cartoons. He draws things like “Atomic Betty” , “Dragon Ball Z Kai” , and “Avatar:The Last Airbender”. He blends them, mixing characteristics of one character with another. His captions are hilarious. It hurts me so much when another child can tramp down so hard on his feelings and make him feel so worthless, and this kid is autistic as well. Higher functioning perhaps, but zero compassion for the way he ripped my son’s feelings apart.
Nicky doesn’t get the best grades right now, but he wants to be a pathologist. He watches shows like “Mystery Diagnosis” and other things with human disorders that make me ill with fascination. He can throw out terms like I can the alphabet. He can describe a surgery, and he understands what he is saying. Nicky isn’t stupid. Too many people treat my son like he’s stupid and they patronize him. It makes me angry, but then comes the quiet side that no one else sees, the tears I shed at night.
Nicky would do well in drama club. He’s got a gift for being a ham and showing off, he’s got a talent with his drawing, he could be the next famous cartoonist, or he could go into the yucky guts and gore and become a pathologist. The only limits Nicky has are those that he sets on himself. If he wanted to be garbageman (he doesn’t) I would support him 100%.
People need to get out of this mentality that kids with autism are stupid or retarded. THEY ARE NOT. My brothers are both geniuses! My cousin is a genius, my aunt and uncle and grandfather, all brilliant. Autism doesn’t mean “Rainman” . There is such a stigma that surrounds it and it needs to be stopped!
Nicky could be the one who finds the cure for cancer, he could be the next funny one on a show, he could pump out the most enjoyable cartoons. And for those who try to beat my son down, kiss off.
Autism is not a malfunction in the brain. People with autism file things differently, they process things differently. We could look at a painting of a sunset and notice the brilliant orange, but a child with autism may notice the ducks painted in the distance, a ripple of water. They see the world differently. That doesn’t make them stupid. Just unique. In honor of a woman in Twitter, I use her screen name to say Special Happens. Our little butterflies are very special. They can surprise us in so many ways. Don’t ever let anyone allow you to believe anything different. Doctors and shrinks are great fro a diagnosis, but no one knows like we do. And my beautiful boy has amazed me several times over. Is IQ may not be high, but he’s brilliant, talented, and has a heart of gold, and I think that matters more than anything in this world.