Normal is in the eye of the beholder

While doing a bit of research for an upcoming post on Autism for Parents, I found this interesting bit from Scott’s Diabetes Journal:

According to her, it all centers on grief. Grief being described in this case as ‘a loss of normalcy’.

A loss of normalcy.

Man – that says a lot doesn’t it?

But what is ‘normalcy’? If I’ve been diabetic for 26 years, isn’t that ‘normal’? Or do I see that others don’t have to check their blood sugars, deal with highs or lows, eat without counting (for the most part), worry about complications or feel guilty about not controlling their blood sugars?

But under the surface I do know that I have to deal with more than the rest of the people I’m around most of the time.”

To distort an old saying, “Normal is in the eye of the beholder.” What is normal for me, may be abnormal for others. This is true in all aspects of our lives, not just autism. But in many cases, society has not quite adjusted yet to the different normals of autism like it has with some other things.

Remember when kids with long hair were considered losers and slackers, or when a guy having an ear-ring was ‘bad’? For me it is normal to not have extra holes in my ears, for my son it is normal to have one extra hole. I accept that his normal is different than mine.

We have a long way to go yet, but I think society is on the path to understand – and more importantly ACCEPT – that autism is a different kind of normal. I just hope it doesn’t take too long.

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