- I cry each time I watch the YouTube video of Carly Fleischmann, typing “hurt” and “help” at age 11 when, until that moment, she had been presumed to be cognitively impaired and unaware of her surroundings. I love that, after refusing to type on demand for the television crew during an interview, she types “Is he cute?” when the reporter mentions that he has a son. (Carly has a website and inspires people all over the world.)
- I love watching Clay Marzo surf and hearing his mother talk about how he is at home in the water, but struggles for air on land. Many of us could learn volumes from Clay’s authenticity and honesty. (You can see more in the movie Clay Marzo, Just Add Water.)
- I am blown away watching 13 year old Jake Barnett, a college sophomore and a math and science prodigy, who says autism is the key to his success. Knowing that a child that stopped speaking just before his second birthday is now an articulate, innovative researcher is amazing and inspirational. That Jake is writing a book to help the rest of us overcome our fear of math is another indicator of how cool he is.
- I am in awe of Lyrica Mia, a non-verbal, autistic adult, who, together with her mother, Gayle Barley Lee, wrote , Awetizm: A Hidden Key to Our Spiritual Magnificence. Lyrica has discovered/revealed that autistic beings have unique gifts and wisdom beyond this world and is leading the world is seeing these gifts.
It is wonderful that the world is recognizing that autism is a spectrum. It is leading to the awareness that humanity is a spectrum: a distribution of energies, gifts, challenges, abilities, and goodness. Since I’ve noticed my children’s uniquely wonderful ways of being, I’ve realized that there is no such thing as normal or average. We are all Uniquely Magnificent.
My children don’t have skills or abilities that are television-worthy. Their needs are not particularly demanding. They simply, extraordinarily, amazingly, are the way they are.
There was a time when I would have asked: When will my child start typing or talking in full sentences? When will his gifts be revealed? When will he surf, play piano, write poetry, or solve complex equations? Why doesn’t he communicate with me telepathically? (When will he say a few words? When will he stop wetting the bed? When will he learn to tie his shoes? When will he be able to eat comfortably?) I was envious of the Magnificent Autistic Beings that awe, inspire, and delight us.
The thing I finally understood is that there is no contest. There is no competition. In watching the video clips linked at the beginning of the post, I notice Magnificent Individuals fully and authentically being themselves. They do what they love. They are who they are. They derive their magnificence by tapping into and being themselves. And that, is available to me, and to us all.