Over the last weeks I’ve been watching the virtual Innovations in Education Conference (presentations of revolutionary ideas for those with sensory, motor, and communication differences). I’m astounded to see the collective beauty of my fellow self advocates. Not that I’m surprised-I know that their hearts and missions are true-but I’m blown away by what they are accomplishing both personally and globally for all to benefit from. I am honored to be a peer and a fellow warrior. The world will take notice as we stand together.
As I’ve expressed, I personally have had to step away from the greater battle to heal myself. I had to be prepared and more whole to push forward and am ready now to do so. I’m so thankful that these incredible humans have forged ahead.
At first I felt left behind until I remembered that it’s certainly not about me, but about the greater cause of bringing acceptance and equality for non and minimal speakers. There is plenty of time and even more people who are unaware and need to be reached. Never did I wish that these advocates hadn’t achieved such heights. I only wished I had too: not for personal accolades, but to bring the neurotypical world out of the Autistic Dark Ages and to encourage those autistics still trapped there.
Comparing ourselves with others is never productive. That goes for neurodiverse and neurotypical alike. We are each such unique creations yet have more commonalities than we think. If our mentality was one of using our gifts collectively for the betterment of society rather than focusing on our differences and forcing sameness, we could all live more peacefully side by side. We can have differences but have common ground. There is no ‘better than’ or ‘worse’, just different. Different is beautiful.
All I can do is be the best me I can be and hope to leave a positive footprint. I have my own path to tread as do each of you. The footprints left by the
self advocates speaking at Innovations are huge and transformational. I look forward to witnessing and experiencing the change they usher in.