A few months ago my family and I went to see a movie. We were sitting next to a big family and amidst the clan of kids there was one who was calmly enjoyed his soda and candy.
As the movie began, the theatre filled with laughter. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice the boy having the time of his life. His laughter was one of the most genuine and beautiful things I had seen in awhile. As the story began getting more serious, I saw the boy get tense. The movie took a dramatic turn, and the boy became very uncomfortable. He moved closer to his mother and got a little fidgety. The woman who sat directly in front of him got up and spoke with his mother, and very rudely asked the woman to take her son out of the theatre, because he wasn’t making her experience “enjoyable.” The mother didn’t protest, she immediately took her son’s hand and guided him outside of the theatre and didn’t return till the end of the movie.
As we were exiting the theatre my parents expressed their discontent with the woman who had asked them to leave. The mother simply said this isn’t the first time this had happened to her family. She explained that her son is autistic and sometimes the people around them just don’t know how to deal with it.
I would now like to give our readers a moment to think about this.
The other (rude) lady didn’t know how to deal with a 7 year old innocent boy who happened to be autistic. Is this really what our world has come to? Can we not act appropriately around a person that has some sort of disability, because it discomforts them a bit?
April is National Autism Awareness Month and I bet many of you didn’t know about the significance of this month. But 50 years ago the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness. Their efforts focus not only on awareness, but also action, acceptance, inclusion, and appreciation. While autism is a very complex disability with many symptoms and varieties, it is a disorder that affects communication and the ability to interact with others. There is no specific cause of autism and it is not a disability that is always physically apparent.
Someone very close to my heart is autistic and the way others look at her and treat her is unacceptable. Imagine the affect this has on my friend and her loved ones.
You do not have to be directly or indirectly affected with autism to get educated on this disorder. Maybe one of our readers will be the person that finds the cure or the root cause. We have the power to make change in our society and educating ourselves about disorders and diseases will help be a more inclusive place.