Have you ever noticed how each one of us humans was made different and unique? We all look different. We have different skin colors and hair colors. Some of us are tall, and some of us are short. Some of us have curly hair, and some have straight. Some people wear glasses and some don't. Some people use a wheel chair to get around, and some people use their legs to walk. Sometimes, the thing that are different about us, are the most special things about us.
We are also all good at different things. Some people may be good at reading or science. Someone else might be good at sports or drawing. None of us is bad at all things, and none of us is amazing at everything. We all have different strengths that make us unique.
People also have different challenges-things that are really hard for us to learn or do. Like learning to ride a bike. Can you name something that is really hard for you to do or took you a long time to learn? But when we work hard, and try our best, we have the ability to overcome these challenges. Some people have to work harder than others.
Even though we are all the same in many ways, we are not exactly the same as anyone. Imagine how boring the world would be if we all looked exactly the same, and had the exact same house, and exact same parents, and ate the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That wouldn't be very much fun, now would it?
There are many ways we are all also the same though. Everyone likes to be included, accepted and liked by our friends. No one likes to be left out or laughed at for being different. We all want people to be patient with us when it takes us longer to do something. And if we are really struggling with something, we want someone else to help us. So you see, there are many ways we are the same too.
I want to talk to you about an awesome little boy named Ty. Ty is the same as you, and he is also different. Ty has something called autism. Autism is something you are born with that affects the way you learn and communicate. This simply means that his brain works differently from most people, especially when it comes to talking with others and understanding social things. Imagine you have a friend who really likes trains a lot and knows everything about them. They might talk about trains all the time, even when others want to talk about different things like playing with toys or games. Sometimes, it might be a bit tricky for them to understand how others feel or to make friends easily.
Think of it like everyone having their own unique way of thinking, and for someone with high-functioning autism, their way might be a bit special, like having a train-focused brain. They're still really smart and can learn a lot of things, but they might need some extra help to understand how to play with others and share their interests in a way that makes everyone happy. Just like we all have our own favorite things, people with high-functioning autism have their special interests too, and sometimes it just takes a little extra patience and understanding from friends and family to make everything go smoothly.
It's important to remember that even though people with autism may act differently from you, they are also the same in a lot of ways too.
Like you, Ty goes to school. Ty has a brother. Ty loves eating hot dogs. He loves going trick or treating with Daddy and Grandma. Ty also loves swimming, swinging on the playground, and doing math!
Each one of us has things that make us special, unique and different. But we also all have feelings and a heart, and we all want to be loved, helped when needed, and
included by others. We want to be accepted, exactly the way we are. We are ALL THE SAME in that way.