Celebrating Differences: Alex and Nolan
Uplifting voices in the Autism community for Autism Acceptance Month
Celebrate differences during Autism Acceptance Month by listening to voices of those who are part of the Autism community. Nolan is a child with Autism in our community. His dad, Alex, shares their family’s experience of acceptance.
ASGW: What do you wish the community knew about Autism or acceptance?
Alex: We could really use your support. Parents of children with special needs are constantly told what they can do better or change. It’s time they hear what they are doing right. Offer help, not advice. A simple way to support is to talk to your children. Don’t shush your kids when they stare or ask questions. Use it as an opportunity to educate them. Nolan flaps when he’s happy, he wears headphones because it’s too loud. When you openly and honestly talk about my child’s differences, that promotes acceptance, inclusion, and positive change. If you don’t have the answer, ask him and us questions! Two children in Nolan’s class made him a card yesterday. That simple act tells me a lot about those kid’s parents and how they are taught to accept others.
ASGW: How does Autism acceptance affect your family and your son’s quality of life?
Alex: Our family can go out in public and be unapologetically “us.” We can let Nolan be himself. Oftentimes, Nolan’s sensory and emotional regulation requires stimming, drumming, pressure, or noise reduction. Like many on the spectrum, new places can cause anxiety for my son (and therefore our family). Your support and patience with us goes a long way to help my son learn and grow.