TOP 10 LISTS
I grew up in the ‘70s; turned a teenager in the ‘80s; and enjoyed college in the ‘90s. David Letterman and his Top 10 lists were so popular that there were Top 10 lists about nearly everything. Seriously, I’m guessing if I searched long enough, I could probably find a Top 10 list of Top 10 lists. They were just everywhere, about everything. So much so that there came a time I almost hated seeing them. Could all the greatness of something really be put into 10 points? And if it could, like if that was all that was great about something, was it really something I wanted to invest my time in? In short, I’m over them. Done.
That was until this past weekend. I happened across a Top 10 list title that caught my eye: Top 10 Things Every Child with Autism Wants you to Know. Despite the internal eye rolling and sighing over the extremely unlikely event that every child with autism would ever agree on 10 things (or any group of children – I mean, really!), I decided to read it anyway. And what do you know? Had I ever sworn off of Top 10 lists, I’d have to eat crow.
Here goes, my new favorite Top 10 list and (my thoughts) as I read through it time and time and time again:
Top 10 Things Every Child with Autism Wants you to Know
- I am a child. Autism is just one aspect of my character. (Oh. Yes, that is a good one.)
- I have positive qualities – don’t just see my negative ones. (Yep, that’s good, too.)
- I like consistency. I learn when you explain things clearly and do things with me. (Yea, that’s true.)
- I like routine because it eliminates surprises and I know what to expect. (Wow, this is a good list.)
- Everyday sights, sounds and touches may be normal for you, but painful for me. (Also seems to be true.)
- Be patient with me. I might need a little longer to work things out. (Absolutely!)
- Don’t assume I don’t listen. Sometimes I just don’t understand. (Ahhhhh, yes, that one!)
- It’s difficult for me to explain what I need when I don’t know the words to express it. (Sigh…. yes.)
- I want to be friends with others, but I don’t know how to do it. (Breaks my heart, but yes, I’ve seen this to be true in our son.)
- I am unique and special in my own way. Please don’t compare me to others, just love me for who I am. (Yes. Yes, indeed.)
I was wrong about Top 10 lists, they can encapsulate some of the very best ideas in one list. That doesn’t mean that is all that is great or important about an idea, just some of the very best and this is honestly, the very best Top 10 list I have ever seen. Please read through it multiple times and if you have someone in your life who lives on the spectrum, please commit as much of it as possible to memory, or post it where you will see it often.
So much of autism is a confusing, challenging mystery, but these 10 points are so very accurate, it’s as if someone has been watching our son via a hidden camera. If we can understand these 10 things, or even just a few, we will have come a long way in understanding the amazing kids who live on the spectrum.