“Survival of the fittest!” – Charles Darwin.
It’s the rule of nature applying from animal populations to human beings. But since civilization, human society has been transforming and evolving into a much more challenging environment from day-to-day.
Everyone here tries to fit into this challenging world. And there are so many individuals who are unique in their own way, special in their own way & different in their own way, who are also trying their best to fit in this society. But the question is, do they really need to “fit in”? Was Darwin wrong? As the wiring in the autistic brain is said to be quite different than others in this world, it may be much more challenging for them to do so. Their behavior and mannerisms are different and might not always match the behavioral & cultural norms of this society.
The people who are born with this difference in processing information are often termed to be on the autism spectrum. This “difference” may result in challenges connecting, communicating and interacting with other people. They may face sensory issues; difficulties with organizing and responding to information that comes in through the senses which impact their learning and everyday life. In order to cope with challenging situations, they develop some coping mechanisms to calm themselves. As a result of which we see some repetitive behaviors, fixed routines/patterns, ‘obsessions’ etc.
Name them what you will; “Special”, ”Differently Abled”, ”Unique” or anything else, they are undoubtedly, the most hardworking individuals in this world as they are constantly working on rewiring themselves to make sense of this society. Parents often try to initiate this process by making them go through different interventions once they are diagnosed; speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social skills therapy, ABA therapy, play therapy and what not! These are all efforts to make them fit in this society & adhere to the norms. While the process is understandable, should the reason be reconsidered?
While most autistic individuals struggle with all these forms of therapy right from their childhood to fit into this ever-demanding world, it becomes the responsibility of all neurotypicals, of creating an environment conducive of acceptance. Since these individuals are made to take multiple steps to cope with this world, even though it wasn’t their first choice, it becomes the responsibility of neurotypicals to take the steps of including them as equals, in exploring all the opportunities this wonderful world has to offer.
So, every time you see a person who seems different, admire and appreciate the fact that:
He/she is trying their level best to be a part of this world, as much as you are.
He/she is in need of your patience, and empathy.
She/he may not need your gesture of acceptance, but they deserve it.
Moreover, just be aware that ………
“WORK IS IN PROGRESS…”- AN EXTRA EFFORT TO FIND THEIR NICHE IN SOCIETY, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
– Shilpa Hebbalaguppe
A proactive, enthusiastic person, passionate to share her ideas and creativity through her blogs. She worked as a software engineer, teacher & completed her masters. She loves being around kids and helping them reach their maximum potential through play. She is a behavioral therapist and a mother as well. You can follow her blogs also on: parentingwithdifference.