So, this week It came across when discussing in friends about certain sports why EVERYONE gets a trophy and while individual recognition is eliminated at times. While in the modern era, we advance to the need for inclusion everywhere we look such as sports, activities, the classroom and so forth, it is also important to teach autistics and others with special needs that life just isn’t fair and sometimes we all can’t be winners.
I know in a era of inclusion I must admit that while I rarely experienced inclusion in school, I am unsure if I would have excelled in the large class sizes and such that is experienced today. I have always been for inclusion for many years because there have been times that I as a special needs student in schools have been excluded from doing things that other students have had the opportunity. This taught me lessons that sometimes life just isn’t fair and to strive for a better outcome so I can have additional opportunities that would present themselves by being a better person.
We should pay homage to those pioneers that advocated for inclusion so everyone can be included, because they have experienced the exclusion first hand to either themselves or their child or person. I am not downplaying inclusion as I feel it is a very important virtue that should not only occur within the education or adaptive sports setting, but in all marginalized communities because they have endured for many decades the hurt and oppression for far too long.
However, we must also recognize that we cannot judge oneself because of their inability to do something and that when one excels at something that there is going to present more opportunities. The point is that one who has reached this achievement must recognize it but not boast the fact that they are better and are part of the group, effort, etc. Being inclusive must come with the understanding that we are all human and we all have our faults and differences and that while we may not wholeheartedly agree with that person being in the environment, one should do their best to be accepting and support them if requested to do so,
Sometimes other non-disabled people shy away from the marginalized because they are unsure of how to best help them to ensure that they are a part of the process. Get to learn the person, just say hello and converse with them for a few minutes. Be patient. We may be excited that we just have someone take interest in us. Once we communicate to you, become interested, get to know us. The marginalized want nothing but a good ally or friend that we can have conversation with. Sometimes we just need someone we can trust to open up to about things that are bothering us. If you get scared, ask questions and sometimes be ready for blunt answers that may come across the way because we want you to accept us for who we are.
Yes, life isn’t fair. For autistics and other marginalized communities, we are oftentimes alone to ponder our own thought processes, which can be detrimental to out mental health and cause a negative mindset on how we extend our reach to those we don’t know. When someone reaches to us, it can be difficult for us to accept you, especially if we have been hurt in the past. This in turn can make it more difficult for us to extend out others for friendship or do things that we may find uncomfortable. We may not want to go to that circle when we are hurt or don’t know what to expect that event, but if you take a few minutes to communicate with us so we can process our thoughts, we’ll be glad we are included in your day. Just remember that we want nothing but to belong and have someone communicate with us in our lonely world.