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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What if...

What if we lived in a world where there was full autism awareness and understanding? How much fuller would lives on and off the autism spectrum be?

What if we lived in a world where the autism spectrum is misunderstood and feared? How many challenges would be faced by those on and off the spectrum that wouldn't have to be?

What if we lived in a world where everyone on the autism spectrum got the services they needed? How many more people would be able to be just a little bit more self-sufficient and have more confidence?

What if we lived in a world where everyone on the autism spectrum fell through the cracks? How many more people would be unable to be self-sufficient and will eternally be dependant on everyone else?

What if we lived in a world where the words autism and Asperger's doesn't have a stigma associated with it? Would this better the awareness and understanding?

What if we lived in a world where the words autism and Asperger's will forever be stigmatized? Would this lead to more and more prejudice of the autism spectrum?

What if we lived in a world where teachers are made fully aware of Asperger's and are better equipped to give those students the education they need? How much easier would the education system be for students and teachers? What future revolutionary thinkers would make it out of the school system equipped for the world and life ahead full of hope?

What if we lived in a world where teachers were not given the resources they need to understand Asperger's? How much harder would it be for students and teachers? How much potential would be lost as those on the autism spectrum fall into the fail set and give up and lose hope?

What if we lived in a world that understood that, "If you've met one person with autism you've only met one person with autism"? Would this help all the points made above? Would this decrease the stigma and misunderstandings? Would this make the media give a better portrayal of autism than using the phrase, "all people with autism..."?

What if we lived in a world that had no understanding of, "If you've met one person with autism you've only met one person with autism? Would this help all the points above? Would this increase the stigma and misunderstandings? Would this give the media more power to state confidently that, "All people with autism..."?

What if you could make a difference?
What if you couldn't make a difference?

(Writer's note: The worlds above are starkly different but by just using slight changes of words. One little change of one word created a completely different world. Look at the last two sentences, just one change of word changes the world from hopeful to hopeless, but that's how I see awareness. Each single person we reach can, for them, be the difference between one of the paragraphs and the opposite and that difference, well, I think you know how big of a difference that would be.)

1 comment:

  1. The dichotomies that you've presented in today's article points up the error of the phrase "words can never hurt me." You've shown how the inclusion or exclusion of one word can completely change the meaning or dynamics of a simple phrase. And words tossed about carelessly can leave deep emotional scars that most people won't even be able to see.

    Some people don't understand why there's a campaign to wipe out derogatory language from everyday societal use. People need to realize that how they use words and how they react to words can have a greater effect than they realize. Thanks again for making a difference.

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