Today we are excited to share a post from one of our favorite writers. Here he talks about something that matters to him.
Autism: An Understanding
By Drew Smith
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” -Emilio Estevez, The Breakfast Club. That’s how I view autistic students coexisting with neurotypical students. Autistic students are almost always bullied because of their disabilities and issues. Something has to matter to some people, and something matters to me. What matters to me the most is people understanding autism, and my way of being, because there could be a better coexistence between autistic and neurotypical people.
In my experience, being on the autism spectrum doesn’t classify anyone as different or weird. They simply have a different way of being. It’s extremely disappointing and sad to see that fact taken for granted by so many people; they pass up on a chance to make a difference and try to understand people with autism. Throughout my school years, I have been praised by people who see beyond my disorder and condemned by people who like to ridicule me for my differences–and for their pleasure. I have been called weird, stupid, bizarre, and other names that serve only to aggravate me, and make me the ultimate bullying target. Some students tease autistic students simply because they know they’ll get a response, and that will make the student more isolated and depressed, something made worse by their disorder. I really hope people will stop ridiculing autistic students and finally understand their issues.
DREW SMITH is a high school senior who lives in Southern California. He plays snare drum in marching band, is president of the Sci-Fi Club and is the Foothill Film Fanatic movie columnist for his campus newspaper. He encourages others to look beyond his autism and get to know him as a person, rather than a diagnosis. But he finds that neurotypicals have challenges, too. Don’t believe me? Just watch John Hughes’ masterpiece, The Breakfast Club (1985).