What is normal mean anyways? I’ve been watching the series The good doctor on TV and I really like this show a lot. It’s about a young man who has autism and is learning to be a surgeon. His character is very well done. As a young man with autism he lacks the communication skills and the empathy for others. He is a very gifted surgeon but because he is limited in people skills he was told he no longer can be a surgeon. This past week he decided to stick up for himself something that is hard for him to do. His supervisor even had him help on a really tough case, because even though he has autism he has an incredible mind and sees things nobody else can see. The reason I’m writing about this is in our society today I see so much not accepting people for whom they are.
The little boy I work with is non-verbal and when we are out anywhere he stands out from all the other children. He makes sounds and noises that the other children don’t make. When he’s excited he gets louder or if he’s anxious he will scream. One day we were at the swimming pool and the boy I work with was being himself and a lady came up to me rudely and said that, this boy should not be in the change room with everyone else and that he should leave. It took me all I could not to yell at her or tell her what I thought about her. I composed myself and said that we had come for lessons at the pool and we had every right to have all our children there and they were happy. She grumbled at me some more and I turned and ignored her. I was angry inside. How in this day and age can people be so ignorant.
So much is accepted in our society so why can we not educate ourselves and accept all people for who they are. It’s like people who have some sort of mental illness, do we treat them differently because they don’t fit into the norm of our society. Recently a sub came into my work and anytime she was around the boy I work with she treated him differently. She was extremely uncomfortable and often called me over to come and get the child. If he was anywhere near her she asked him to leave where he was to come and see me. I tried to tell her he’s not annoying her he just wants to be part of what all the other children are involved with. I finally confronted her and told her that she could treat him like all the other children. He is no different just because he can’t talk. I told her when you send him away and tell me to come and get him that is not inclusion. He wants what all the children want. I told her he understands everything you tell him, he just can’t verbalize it. I also told her that everytime you send him away it makes him sad and how would you feel if you were often asked to leave. She hung her head and said terrible. I said he feels the same way and I told her if she spent some time with him she would see what he liked.
I think education is huge in this area, although I can’t imagine treating any child like this no matter who they are. All children need to be treated with care and respect and dignity. So next time your out and you see something or someone who is different in some way treat them like how you would like to be treated. They have feelings just like we do.