Tomorrow Is Always Another Day

This is part of our series for Autism Awareness Month. We asked friends to share what Autism means to them. Submissions will be included from autistic children, autistic adults, parents, professionals, and friends. 

My kids have taught me that no two children or adults with Autism are the same. They have such huge personalities with their own quirks and attributes, just like everyone else. I spend half of my day laughing and smiling because our kids are just that funny and sassy. Not one of them have been exactly alike.
Non-verbal and "low-functioning" does not mean that children with Autism don't understand or don't sense things. Some of my least communicative kids have been the most intuitive and loving. They know when people don't "like" or enjoy being around them and they will treat you as such.
My friends in my class the last few years have taught me to NEVER discount what they can do. They have reached goals I only dreamed they could and weathered storms I wished that I could have protected them from, especially 5 days of all day, in-person learning wearing masks ALL DAY LONG like the champions that they are. They have adapted and overcome more than people six times their age in their first 5-9 years of life. To discount them is a disservice.
They've taught me tomorrow is ALWAYS another day. Each of us in our room, teachers, paraprofessionals, and students all have bad days. Days where each of us have cried in turn because the day was that draining. But, we always come in the next day ready to try again. Their forgiveness and grace have taught me more about being a good person than I could have learned in my 24 years before I started teaching my kids with Autism. The kids I've taught have truly embodied the quote "To err is human. To forgive is divine."
And most of all I want people to know that they phrase "If you've worked with one kid with Autism, then you've worked with one kid with Autism" is about the truest statement I've ever heard.
Happy Autism Awareness to all of my favorite people out there!

-Submitted by Danielle, Autism Support Teacher

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