If I had grown up surrounded by less autism, I think I would have had very little motivation to discover my truth. I was born with a quiet inner voice; one that whispered self-consciously, though it wanted to be heard. However, its timid ways were easy for me to ignore and with less autism to love, I would likely have gone along with the norm because it was decided for me, and I would have looked away when the norm was challenged, because that feels easier in the moment. I would have drown my inner voice with the voices of society and others.
Not everyone needs to live on the outskirts of society in order to truly see; but I did. And because of my autistic loved ones--recovered and not--I was at my mom's side while she explained, showed, proved, and believed in odd people and strange answers. Odd because they are unusual, strange because they challenge us to be creative and break unwritten rules. I got a first class education while she shunned society's norms and invented creative solutions that healed and taught skills. So now I am gifted with a willingness to see. I'm connected to my choices, my family, and myself.
My inner voice has grown confident and strong. When I explain my choices, show my reasons, and incorporate so many possible perspectives--knowing, thanks to autism, that perspective possibilities are endless!--I give volume to my truth and choose it with intention.
And because I am so connected and intentional, I don't at all feel on the outskirts of society. How could I? I am surrounded! By people, support, love, laughter, ideas, trust, spontaneity, reasons above rules, difference, talents, happiness, and needs! We are not the outskirts of society, we are an epicenter!
And we are building outward beautifully! Myself, my brothers, my mother, my sons, my husband, my friends... so many of us are truly happy, largely because of the questions autism asked, and the answers autism offered.
So don't be shy! Much like my inner voice, with time and attention and motivation you will grow loud and confident! Find your own unique autism answers, and share them with your world.
And one day, when our inclusive, strange, colorful societies collide, we will have changed all of our worlds.
And it will be fabulous!!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton