Mia Lung is a character in the novel, Delightfully Different. ©D. S. Walker
The following is an excerpt from my book, Delightfully Different. Mia is talking as she tries to heal from the emotional scars bullying left.
Part of me wanted to become an advocate for all of the kids who were delightfully different like me. Delightfully different was what Mom called me. I still wasn’t brave enough to speak up. I didn’t trust people enough yet. I wanted to believe there were good people who would understand; unfortunately, our society seemed mean to me. There were TV shows where people ambushed their “friends,” so they could tell them how awfully they dressed. There were people who posted things on the Internet about my generation. They said, “This generation needs to get tougher. Their parents overprotect them. There has always been bullying of kids who are different.”
They said that those of us who were different just needed to learn to fit in, as if it were our fault that we were mistreated. They didn’t think that society should make accommodations for us at all. They implied that our sensory issues were something that our overprotective parents invented. They even blamed our parents for our sensory issues.
Our society was advancing technically, but it was returning to an age of barbarians in terms of the way we treated others. Honestly, what gave anyone the right to judge what I or anyone else wore? Why should I have to be just like everyone else? More important, why would I want to?
Mia’s mom explains to her that she has to learn to forgive to avoid becoming the mean one and I firmly believe this is true. I hope once people are better educated about how bullying affects those on the Autism Spectrum, that others will come to the aid of the victims, and support them the way they currently support kids who have a physical illness or injury. That is my dream for the future. For with understanding and support, I truly believe we can eliminate bullies or at least eliminate any power they have to harm others.
Today I read an article from The Salt Lake Tribune about an amazing person named, Dora Raymaker who happens to have an autism spectrum diagnosis. She gave insights as to how important the people in her life are to her, and she also noted that the misconception held by some, that those on the spectrum don’t have feelings, leads to a lack of accountability for atrocities committed against people on the spectrum. See the link to this below:
I hope to change these notions by educating people about how amazing those on the spectrum can be, and by emphasizing the importance of holding everyone accountable for their actions.
My ultimate goal is to change our world one person at a time to a place of acceptance of differences, so that all people can reach their full potential. I know that just because someone expresses themselves differently, it does not mean they don’t feel just as deeply as those of us who cry openly. Please help me to pass on the message of teaching tolerance.
D. S. Walker
©dswalkerauthor All rights reserved.
There is so much information out there about the struggles associated with an Autism Spectrum Disorder that I feel the need to devote today’s blog to the positives and to other blogs and websites that are also about the positives. I think there are many positives including the fact that my child, who is now a teenager, has taught me patience, understanding, and to keep reaching for my goal. I know without a doubt that I can trust her because she is honest, trustworthy and reliable. She also is intelligent, talented, and kindhearted. She has excellent rote memory along with the ability to focus for long periods of time on subjects that interest her. She is good with details which is another plus and like Mia in my story, she has amazing insights. Overall, I’m very proud of her but then I suppose most mothers are proud of their children.
Please note that while each site below shares something positive, they are all unique and as with people of all walks of life, each author expresses their own point of view.
My Beautiful Bow — An Adoption Story | Wallingford – seattlepi.com.
When Autistic Children Become Adults – NYTimes.com.
Purchased Clipart Collection Version 1.2 (2.2) Copyright ©Macmanus. All rights reserved.
Yesterday Parent Dish posted the an article about Angie Dickinson’s daughter having been misdiagnosed by the psychiatric community at a time when Asperger’s was not a recognized diagnosis. The story was heart breaking as Ms. Dickinson was blamed for her daughter’s behaviors, and due to lack of understanding she received little to no support while raising her daughter.
I wish I could say things have changed drastically, but mother’s still have to fight for their daughters. At a time when Autism has gotten so much media attention, girls with Asperger’s are still frequently misdiagnosed and they are still misunderstood by their peers and families. I firmly believe that with understanding, tolerance and getting the correct type of support for these girls and their families, they can live fulfilling lives and make wonderful contributions to our society. I know someone on the spectrum who is truly amazing and who I love dearly. She inspired me to write the novel.
I also know that with understanding and support, the temper tantrums so many report as symptoms of Asperger’s can be avoided. There are also so many wonderful qualities of Asperger’s that are rarely reported. I cried when I read about how Ms. Dickinson’s daughter composed music at an early age, and yet her father did not see the talent she inherited from him. Her family instead saw her differences including her reactions to loud noises. Would our society destroy the great classical composers and artist if they lived today and what about the great inventors? I hope we wouldn’t but at times I wonder. Let’s protect our children so they can accomplish great things.