Don’t tell me I’m normal
If you get a chance, I highly recommend this TED talk called What I’ve learned from my autistic brothers, by Faith Jegede. She talks about living and learning from her autistic brothers, and what we can take away:
Now, I cannot deny that there have been some challenging moments in my family, moments where I’ve wished that they were just like me. But I cast my mind back to the things that they’ve taught me about individuality and communication and love, and I realize that these are things that I wouldn’t want to change with normality. Normality overlooks the beauty that differences give us, and the fact that we are different doesn’t mean that one of us is wrong. It just means that there’s a different kind of right. And if I could communicate just one thing to Remi and to Sam and to you, it would be that you don’t have to be normal. You can be extraordinary. Because autistic or not, the differences that we have — We’ve got a gift! Everyone’s got a gift inside of us, and in all honesty, the pursuit of normality is the ultimate sacrifice of potential. The chance for greatness, for progress and for change dies the moment we try to be like someone else.
She is compelling and poetic, and her devotion reminds me of a post I wrote for my son called Neurotypical. If you have time, perhaps you’ll enjoy that too.
And if you’re in the mood for another TED talk along similar lines, you might also enjoy Temple Grandin’s talk entitled The world needs all kinds of minds.