I would like to dedicate this Teachers’ Day to my students.
They have taught me about life itself.
Many of them do it without saying a word.
I’d like to felicitate them by sharing my favorite quotes.
Most of these are by individuals on the Spectrum.
1. You are being called at this time to let go of past hurts which will release many generational links to your defects of character. Forgiveness is critical. These offenders are your teachers and letting go of any self righteousness about the hurt will free these feelings of unease. Peace in your heart is what you are yearning for. May you find it now. Gratitude will assist in your process.
– Weston (voiced by Meg Lupin)
2. I hope someday that therapists will put away their books, and approach from a place of wonder and receiving. Rather than a place of already knowing, or that they know quite a bit because they are a specialist.
– Lexington Sherbin
3. Are we intelligent? What does that mean? “If so smart”, some of you think, “then why such challenging behavior? Surely, they must be able to fit in if they’re intelligent. They must have control. If you can reason, you can talk your body into behaving”. Oh such a trap door of thinking this logic is.
– ML the Wise Riddler (voiced by Susan Oros)
4. For autistic individuals to succeed in this world, they need to find their strengths and the people that will help them get to their hopes and dreams. In order to do so, ability to make and keep friends is a must. Amongst those friends, there must be mentors to show them the way. A supportive environment where they can learn from their mistakes is what we as a society needs to create for them.
– Bill Wong, Autistic Occupational Therapist
5. Although people with autism look like other people physically, we are in fact very different…We are more like travelers from the distant, distant past. And if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the Earth, that might give us quiet pleasure.
– Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump
6. Stop thinking about normal…You don’t have a big enough imagination for what your child can become.
– Johnny Seitz, autistic tightrope artists in the movie Loving Lamposts.
7. I don’t want my thoughts to die with me, I want to have done something. I’m not interested in power, or piles of money. I want to leave something behind. I want to make a positive contribution – know that my life has meaning.
– Temple Grandin
8. Do not fear people with Autism, embrace them. Do not spite people with Autism, unite them. Do not deny people with Autism, accept them, for then their abilities will shine.
– Paul Isaacs
9. I see everything in color. I have synesthesia, which means that the part of my brain – that controls the senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – are wired differently.
– Jeremy Sicile-Kira
10. Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive… It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world… It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps.
– Trisha Van Berkel
11. When I did stims such as dribbling sand through my fingers, it calmed me down. When I stimmed, sounds that hurt my ears stopped. Most kids with autism do these repetitive behaviors because it feels good in some way. It may counteract an overwhelming sensory environment.
– Temple Grandin
12. A person with autism hears every sound intensely magnified. Thus, if the tone of voice is harsh or strict, they will feel scared and threatened and, consequently, may inadvertently scream or even attack. Aggressive behaviour is brought on by fear.
– Joao Carlos Costa, 21, non-vebal, autistic
13. I need to see something to learn it, because spoken words are like steam to me; they evaporate in an instant, before I have a chance to make sense of them. I don’t have instant-processing skills. Instructions and information presented to me visually can stay in front of me for as long as I need, and will be just the same when I come back to them later. Without this, I live the constant frustration of knowing that I’m missing big blocks of information and expectations, and am helpless to do anything about it.
– Ellen Notbohm, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
14. Are your eyes listening? That’s what needs to happen to hear my writing voice. Because of autism, the thief of politeness and friendship, I have no sounding voice. By typing words I can play with my life and stretch from my world to yours. I become a real person when my words try to reach out to you without my weird body scaring you away. Then I am alive.
– Sarah Stup, Excerpted from “Are your eyes listening?
15. “Why should I cry for not being an apple, when I was born an orange, I’d be crying for an illusion, I may as well cry for not being a horse.
– Donna Williams
16. Let’s give people with autism more opportunities to demonstrate what they feel, what they imagine, what comes naturally to them through humor and the language of sensory experience. As we learn more about autism, let’s not forget to learn from those with autism. There are poets walking among you and they have much to teach.
– Chris Martin
17. Years before doctors informed me of my high-functioning autism and the disconnect it causes between person and language, I had to figure out the world as best I could. I was a misfit. The world was made up of words. But I thought and felt and sometimes dreamed in a private language of numbers.
– Daniel Tammett
18. We cry, we scream, we hit out and break things. But still, we don’t want you to give up on us. Please, keep battling alongside us.
– Naoki Higashida
19. We need people with autism in the numbers with which they’ve increased, especially if we’re to unite in a renaissance for what is right and true and good and kind. It is coming. And the next major human rights movement to shatter myths and tear down walls of hate will be lead by those meek of voice but strong of will.
– William Stillman
20. People on the autism spectrum don’t think the same way you do. In my life, people who made a difference were those who didn’t see labels, who believed in building on what was there. These were people who didn’t try to drag me into their world, but came into mine instead.
– Temple Grandin
Asperger would often just sit with the children, reading poetry and stories to them form his favorite books. “I don’t want to simply push from the outside and give instructions, observing coolly and with detachment,” he said. “Rather, I want to play and talk with the child, all the while looking with open eyes both into the child and into myself, observing the emotions as they arise in reaction to everything that occurs in the conversation between the two of us.”
– As quoted in ‘Neurotribes’
When I work with my students, this is what I feel too.
I would love to hear your thoughts and your favorite quotes too.
Do share in the comments section.