If someone you love is on the autism spectrum, I highly recommend that you watch the movie Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an autistic woman who overcame gigantic difficulties to use her exceptional mind to contribute to the scientific community.
The first time I watched the movie, I cried the whole way through (and laughed, too!). Not because it was a sordid story, but because I could see my son in so many ways–the expressions, the fear, the sensory issues, the social struggles, the fine mind and sensitive feelings underlying. I could relate to both the kindness and unkindness of others who didn’t understand Grandin. My son is not as autistic as Grandin and functions much more normally, but the story is still relatable. He definitely feels the inner pain of being “different.”
I asked my son if the movie helped him understand himself. “Yeah,” he said quietly.
Oh, my child. I want you to know that you are valuable. We love you so, so much. You are smart and funny and sweet and loveable. God has a unique plan for your life. Don’t let others tear you down.
You can also listen to a TED talk by Grandin herself about the fact that “the world needs all kinds of minds.” I don’t agree with everything Grandin believes, but I think these resources are valuable because they help us understand that God made us all different for a good reason. The world does need all kinds of minds.
If you have a child with similar needs, Temple Grandin may encourage you as you celebrate and cherish your child.