The youth pastor at my church has an 8 year old boy. He doesn’t have both of his arms and legs. He only has about half of his left arm and leg. My grandma is blind. The world labels these two with the word “disabled.” Asperger Syndrome is technically a disability. The “normal” people of this world will tell them that they can’t do things; that they will never live a normal life. These two people that are in my life prove the world wrong. They live normally. They are an inspiration to me as someone that has Asperger Syndrome.
The pastor’s kid wears a prosthetic leg. When I tell my friends about him, they say things like, “Poor little kid” or “How terrible.” My reaction is always to tell them, “Don’t feel sorry for him. Don’t treat him differently. That little boy runs around terrorizing people like every other little boy at church. He’s played soccer. He even takes his leg off and chases people around to hit them with it.” He recently did a 5K run with his parents. They did not run the entire way, of course, but it wasn’t easy. The youth pastor’s kid decided after a while that he no longer wanted to do this run. He wanted to quit. He used every excuse he could conjure up to get out of finishing this run. He tried to tell his dad that his leg hurt and he wanted to be carried the rest of the way. His dad observed him to make sure that he was telling the truth, and figured out pretty quickly that he had been lying. Their family, grudgingly, finished the run. His parents will not allow anyone to tell him that he can’t do something because he is “disabled.” He is a bright little kid. He plays rough with his cousins. He believes that he is invincible. He is whole. Because he doesn’t look physically complete doesn’t mean that he needs your pity.
My grandma was born blind. She was in “special” classes growing up. She married my grandpa and had 7 kids with him. She raised 5 boys and 2 girls. She and my grandpa run their own business. Most people that know her have no clue that she’s blind. Compared to what I can see, she see’s in blurred shapes. Or at least that’s how my mom explains it. That woman, however, has picked out some of the most beautiful clothing and jewelry I’ve ever seen. She recognizes me as soon as I walk in the door. She is completely amazing. She believes that she doesn’t have a disability. I believe her. She is invincible.
There are things that won’t come easily. There are things that I may never be able to understand. I will feel like I want to give up because it seems impossible. I will not, however, allow the fact that AS is a disability to hinder my life. I will do my best to not use AS as an excuse to quit or be lazy. My life will be full. I wont give up on learning how to better socialize. I will not give up. Yes, technically, I have a disability. No, I will not let that hold me back in life. You shouldn’t either.