Good For Everyone: Why Acceptance and Inclusion Matters
Accepting others for who they are isn’t just about good karma--scientific studies now show how exclusion isn’t just a problem for the person who suffers it. It turns out leaving people out because they don’t “fit in”can disrupt society at large, according to Nathan Dewall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. DeWall says, “People who have been excluded often lash out against others proving that quite often, how you treat others has direct impact on you.”
“Strength Lies in Differences, Not in Similarities”
Accepting people for their differences also shouldn’t necessarily be categorized as an act of selflessness-there are plenty of selfish reasons accepting differences benefits everyone. A recent article Published in Scientific American magazine states that, after “Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers” we now know that socially diverse groups are more innovative than homogeneous groups, and innovation is a key to our success. After all, the goal of any successful society is to produce a population of contributors, people who will help make the world better for everyone.
“Autism is a neurological disorder. It's not caused by bad parenting.”
-- Temple Grandin
By definition, Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that impacts the whole body. Nobody has any control or responsibility for Autism, there’s no cure, and there isn’t a simple one-size-fits all way of dealing with someone on the Spectrum. Every case is unique because every human brain is unique. Autism affects each and every person in sometimes significantly different ways. There isn’t a doctor who can tell a family what to do to make it through the day because every case of Autism is different. The only way people know how to treat the disorder is by living with it. Most families spend many years trying to figure out the best way to make things as manageable as possible. There is one thing that is the same for every person with Autism--and that is the fact that it can’t be cured, and someone who is on the Spectrum can’t learn to “do things the right way.”
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
It’s an act of bravery to keep yourself open and to not close the door when the unknown comes along, but living in a world full of people willing to help can begin with you. Modeling good behavior for others by showing your tolerance of differences will ultimately inspire and propel people toward actions that benefit themselves, each other, and the community. The possibilities of a person with Autism are only discoverable through acceptance and understanding, and if you give someone a chance to be great, they may actually amaze you.