This I Believe

lydia - north bend, Washington
Entered on February 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: disability

My sister, Nina, has autism. Autism is a disability of the brain that affects someone for their entire life. It causes people to be possessive over inanimate objects, be antisocial and cannot have their routine changed. Average people seem ignorant, even fearful. I believe autism should not be feared.

Just because someone has autism does not mean they are stupid. Nina is amazing at math. More than once, she was the only one who could fix the computer. It’s not a problem for her. She can do lots of things if she is taught how. And, if she is taught how, it’s hard to tell that she even has a disability. Stupid people are technically normal people who just aren’t smart. Autism is not stupidity.

Most of the autistic is good people. Nina is as harmless as a butterfly and she’s autistic. She’s quite the character actually. Just because someone is autistic doesn’t mean their personality is lost, just harder to see.

Autistic people have hope for the future. It’s unknown but hopefully good. When a child is born, a parent has expectations. They’ll be a lawyer, they’ll be a doctor, at least they’ll be successful and normal. Sometimes you have to let go and let the people be who they really are. There are many homes and jobs that will accept them if they can function and can do them. The future and they will decide.

In fact, I know that autism is confusing, hard, and sometimes scary but we must not let fear block out the truth and knowledge. Next time you see someone with autism having a hard time, help them by trying to get them to tell you what’s wrong, get someone who has experience or at least don’t walk away. Don’t turn your back on a whole world of people, wonderful people. There is lot of things you could do, just try.