To start us off, there’s an important piece of information that I’m going to share with you right on this text here. You might not like it, your peers might not like it, and the state of Florida certainly isn’t gonna like it, but it’s a factoid that is going to be central for my future paragraphs:
There’s no such thing as normal.
Sure, you can have normality in the sense of recurring, consistent patterns when talking about events (Think, for instance, a “normal” rush-hour on a Wednesday, or a “normal” response to reading this being “What are you talking about?”), but when it comes to human identification, what is supposed to be our normal.
The reason why I bring this up in relation to ASD is because there is an unfortunate movement where autism is being seen as something to be “cured”. As in, someone who is diagnosed with it can become “normal” after being supposedly treated for it. There are many problems with this line of thinking, but the question I’m posing for today is… How can we even generate normality if the very concept is a societal construct?
Autism awareness is important because it’s a beautiful representation of how we can typically barricade ourselves into what we deem as socially acceptable. For example: I have a fidgeting habit, and love to grab random things to tinker with them while speaking or listening to someone. There is no greater motive for doing it other than the mentality that: This makes sense, and it helps to concentrate on the important task at hand (Well, the other one; not the tinkering task).
In the world we live in today, where the most alluring wear the fanciest of suits, and business can be done in blood as long as the hand is shaken with a smile, it’s important to remind ourselves of our roots as wonderful creatures that tend to do “unnormal” things to make ourselves or others happy.
It would be our own downfall to idealize what we think of as a “normal” human, because no such thing exists.
Hope you’re having a wonderful Autism Awareness Month. See you next time!
Madeline is currently a junior at MICC, working towards her Hospitality certificate. Her creativity is as broad and crazy as her curls-- Creating entertaining stories and unique perspectives which become instantly memorable and cherished. Despite her wits and ways of forming words, she is constantly challenging herself by developing new skills and leaving a third eye open to anything that's piqued her curiosity. Whether you find her writing, drawing, music making, golfing, sailing, gaming, programming, or drinking too much Cherry Pepsi, you'll discover a character that you won't find anywhere else!