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ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Tall Tales

By Sarah Matincheck

When most people think of autism, they tend to think of people who are greatly gifted in music, languages, or math….. I believe this is because what many people think they know about living with autism, they learned by watching fictional television shows and movies – I’m a fan of several of them – ‘The Good Doctor’ is pretty good.  

 

Every year, I think that autistic character portrayal gets a little better, but the truth is that many people with autism are just your average joes. We don’t all have special talents (well, not more special than anyone else’s talents). Television and movies tend to showcase autistic people as having one of a kind mysterious talent that no one else may have. That’s just not as common as you might think. 

 

Many times, when a person with autism can play a musical instrument like a professional, it’s due to dedication and taking a lot of time to practice. And that goes for everyone else who has a talent for something that would make them stand out among others with the same talent. It would be due to the passion they have for their talent. 

 

A few years ago, in high school, I was reading a script in English class on Romeo and Juliet for a reading assignment. I read the traditional line (Shakespeare’s words) while another student read the same line in modern-day language.  The teacher explained to us the traditional writing was written with passionate love and truly devoted to the characters. The modern version was the same message, but I felt that the passion in the subtext was toned down. 

 

What I found most interesting was that both scripts were telling the exact same story, both in the English language, but with a different style. And that’s how life is with normal people versus autistic people! We can play the same song, we can speak the same language, we can read the same book, but we do it with our own unique style.

 

Autism awareness month is in April. To me, this means that those with autism should be proud and true to themselves in their own way. I plan to watch my favorite movie “Titanic” because it’s been one of my interests since I was in the fourth grade. 

 

What do you plan to do during autism awareness month? Whatever you plan to do, stay true to who you are, and don’t let anyone fold you into a stereotype.

 

Thanks for reading!

Sarah