Just Something on my Mind…

When we come together as one does it show real human kindness, regardless of who we are. So why not do it all the time?

 

AS a person with Autism I can understand all too well about how it can feel when it comes to isolation and being judged by others. A young girl from Wales called Remi turned five the other day and was left feeling upset when only two of her friends showed up for her birthday party. The young girl asked her mum “Where are all my friends”. Her dad put an invitation up online for anyone to join them. You can imagine their response when many people turned up at the doorstep with their children carrying both cards and gifts.

Now as a person who has a disability, I know all too well how you can be left feeling like an alien when no-one will give you the time of day. I mean for all we know the other families and their children could have either already made prior arrangements or the children were sick. We don’t really know. But the parents invited ten and only two showed up.

Looking at this story it just reminded me of my own experiences growing up in the local community, trying to get along and be accepted by my peers, as well as everyone else.

One of the problems with Autism is being able to form friendships and relationships with people, and that isn’t always easy. Growing up with a disability I felt like an outsider, continuously observing my surroundings and wanting to be liked by my friends. Though unlike Remi, my diagnosis came about at a time when mental health issues simply weren’t spoken about and people with various disabilities were looked upon as weirdos.

Even though there were only meant to be seven spots up for grabs it looked as though a small crowd arrived at the Eden Play Centre where the party was held. The girl’s parents said that they simply overwhelmed by the response that the had from random strangers. Fourteen children dropped by along with their parents. Some stayed for the party whilst other popped round to wish her a happy birthday and left cards and presents for her.

It is stories like this one I find which can show the shame in some people, but it can also show the warmth and kindness in humanity when everyone becomes one. After reading the story it also reminded me of the BBC series, The A-Word.

The A-Word is a programme starring former Dr Who star Christopher Eccleston, Inspector George Gently’s Lee Ingleby and Grantchester’s Morven Christie. Max Vento plays the character of Joe who has Autism.

In the series Joe displays unusual behaviour, shuts himself away from other children and displays problems with communication. Rather like myself, he finds solace in music and possess vast amounts of knowledge of the music in which he listens to. Whenever I look at the character of Joe it does in many ways remind me of what I was like at that age as I loved listening to music and would have happily listened all day long. And also, like the boy, I to found some comfort in listening to music as it gave me some form of distraction from what was happening around me.

Even though there are many people out there who live with various disabilities, be they physical, learning or genetic, we need to remember that they are human beings and deserve love, respect and compassion as much as the next person. Whether you have a child like Remi or not this story should strike a chord with you when it comes to human behaviour and how we treat each other. Now I know that her story, with the help of her parents found its happy ending, but we need to remember what is was that started it in the first place.

Now I know that I am not giving much in the way of a happy story here because the sad truth is that when we talk about people and disability there isn’t always a happy story to tell. As a society we need to deeply look into how we both view and treat people with these sorts of problems as it is one of the numerous ways in which we can help sort out this problem.

Since the party the family have been contacted by the parents of other Autistic children to offer both play dates and support. It is just random acts of kindness like this which show that, as a society, we are capable of showing compassion and if we could do it all the time, we can be prouder of ourselves.

Please follow the link below to view the story

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50086800?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/wales&link_location=live-reporting-story

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