Hello everyone, I’m Michael from Tea Time With Mikey. I usually blog about my own life and mental health, my thoughts on the world and other topics, conducting some interviews along the way.
I’m here to talk to you today about my respect and admiration for the Autistic Community.
I’ve been friends with Vicky a good few years now. Through our friendship, I’ve learned so much. She’d messaged me, back when she got her diagnosis in 2017. it’s been a good few years of re-education.
I choose the word re-education, as I never always had this open perspective of disabled people at all. I was raised by a man harmful to society, with a damaging, out of date and down right cruel perspective of the disabled.
In my eyes, it was okay to use derogatory terms as insults, or to actively mock them by pulling faces and putting on a voice. I was taught this was funny and that it’s okay because “disabled people are just stupid.” It wasn’t something I actively did 24/7, but it’s still something I did.
When I was 14, my father went away for good and I was free from a toxic attitude.
Over the years, as I approached my late teens, I became more aware of the disabled. That they are not stupid and anything I had said or done was in fact wrong.
I’m disappointed in myself for these things for not understanding sooner.
These past couple of years, I’ve taken an active interest in learning more, specifically about Autism, through Vicky. She helped broaden my horizons and also learn more about what potentially makes me who I am.
I’ve since realised many of my friends are Autistic and I didn’t even know. I’ve made new friends who are Autistic. I’ve seen the community on social media flourish and so many people come together to support one another.
Seeing you all laugh and share your differences made me feel welcome, made me feel more hope for humanity. You’re all kind hearted people with unique perspectives on life and the world needs more people like you.
You don’t have a disorder, you have a neurological condition and guess what? That’s okay. Be proud of that, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you. Anyone who tells you that is absent minded and ignorant, like I used to be.
There are many more people out there who were brought up just like I was, who may still believe those awful things. Unfortunately, the media seems to echo those sentiments, doing just as much harm.
Over the past year however, the Autistic community has been making waves online, really showcasing that they are more than just a disability. Once again, Vicky is a prime example of this and she even did a video recently to talk about it.
The more you celebrate your individuality, what makes you special, the closer we’ll get to a world where people understand and respect Autism.
Fight against the media, make them listen, make them learn and never give up doing so.
Happy World Autism Week to you all, I love you for who you are and please never change. You’re perfect just the way you are.
Me and Vicky have interviewed each other in the past before about Autism awareness. You can find these below: