Each time I write something I never know if anyone is going to read it. Right now though, I very dearly want this to be read because I've never felt so strongly about something. Yes, right now there is a video circulating the internet regarding a teacher bullying a student and I have never been more sick about something than that, and it furthers my passion to continue to raise awareness and understanding.
So why do I write this to the world? Because it is up to you, the world, to make the difference! We on the spectrum often times need support. And sometimes we are unable to speak for ourselves. With that being said, we can be easy targets. There's a misconception out there that people on the autism spectrum don't have emotions or feelings and this couldn't be farther from the truth.
I'm in the midst of a nationwide tour I have met so many amazing teachers and professionals! They are absolutely amazing, but it only takes one. Yes, it only takes on person to cause major harm. And for us on the spectrum we can't simply share our emotions and time doesn't "simply" heal the wounds. Take for instance a thing that happened to me last August.. That event was very much a bully situation and I have never felt more insignificant and powerless in my life. Thankfully that night my dad, and bowling team, were there for me in all the right ways.
Right now we are in the middle of Autism Awareness Month and as the numbers of autism increase so too, I fear, will be stories the likes of which only the word "horror" can describe. To the unaware person they may think that the non-verbal person isn't listening or doesn't care how they are treated. Sadly, the person very much does and is unable to do or say anything. Imagine that! Imagine living life for one minute in a situation that you can not say or do anything that will alert the world to the fact that someone has mistreated you. No words, no points, nothing.
So world, what are we going to do about it? I've written many posts regarding using the terminology of "the one" but in this instance I want to say we need to "fear the one." Yes, we need to fear that one person who is going to take advantage or bully the person on the spectrum. Since I feel that the concept of time is different for us on the spectrum, the abuse, the bullying, or whatever it may be is not simply going to be forgotten. Even if 99% of everyone is compassionate and understanding we still have 1% that can cause great harm.
As I said, I feel strongly on this; maybe too much. I do what I do to raise awareness and understanding because "understanding is the foundation for hope." I felt hopeless and powerless for many years after finding out about my diagnosis and during those years I don't know if I would have recovered from any sort of bullying episode.
What I am trying to get at is that you, the world, need to help us. Sometimes we can't speak, sometimes we can't state our needs, but if we are in trouble we need your help. This goes for all ages! At one of my presentations I heard a story about a class that had a person with autism in it and one student tried to pick on the person with autism but the rest of the class would have none of it. This is what we need world! And I'm not saying we don't have it, but all it takes is one event to leave a unfortunate scar.
So can we do it world? Can we continue to educate the world and create more awareness of the needs of us on the spectrum? Can we minimize the horror stories? The end of Autism Awareness Month is fast approaching and when it passes will the world tuck us away and wait until next April before they open their minds? My passion is bring and end to this, but I'm just one person. So world, one last question: if a situation comes up that you can help a person on the spectrum will you continue on your way or will you see to it that right wins out? If you are the type that will see to it that right prevails you may not be thanked by the person, in fact you probably won't, but trust me when I say that the amount of thanks being felt by that person on the spectrum will be at a level you can't imagine. So world, please be our advocates when we need one, don't turn a blind eye, and never let yourself fall into the 1% I mentioned earlier.