If you've met one person with autism, you've met ONE person with autism.
They are all so wonderfully different. Many issues we had with Joe, were non-existent with Alan. Then of course, Alan has vexed us in ways that were never a problem with Joe. It is impossible to tell by looking at someone whether or not they have autism. Here are two faces of autism ...
But there are so many more!
Today is Autism Awareness Day and for many the entire month of April is a time of reminder. A reminder that many of these kiddos wander, many are non verbal, many have special skills and many don't. Most have more "issues" than their neurotypical counterparts, but they aren't necessarily bothered by them. Many of them are very happy, cheerful people to be around. Some aren't. There are very few "Rainman" autistics out there.
The adults are as different as the kids. There are those that just want to be accepted how they are and those that still wouldn't mind a cure. There are those that get offended if you call them a "person with autism" and those that don't.
Likewise there are many parents out there and we are as different as the children we are raising.
There are the parents who embrace the autism and the ones that fight it. There are the parents who push their children and the ones who coax. There are those that never stop trying alternatives and those that just plug along. There are those of us that blog about our adventures and many that are fighting silently, daily in the trenches. There are some who are still in denial and some who shout it from the rooftops. And unfortunately, there are those that aren't strong enough to do it anymore.
From Carly to Temple to Einstein -- autism is a spectrum. While I personally would like a little more balance in my rainbows than I see in my daily life, that doesn't stop me from enjoying the little victories and the funny stories.
Be aware of autism in those around you. Be accepting and accommodating of those on the spectrum and their caregivers.
In short, "Be excellent to each other!" (and party on, dudes!)