First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh Service

“The Gifts of Neurodiversity” Service – June 3, 2022
 As Unitarian Universalists, we preach inclusion.  But is our definition of inclusion broad enough?  Are we accepting and celebrating all people and embracing the beauty that is found in our neurological differences?

The Autistic Plea For Understanding

Why do you look upon me the way you do,
you who see me as a standout.

When you look upon me,
you see someone who cannot think or know about
What it means to learn and to love,
you see me as having a disease that needs
To be cured, or as having been poisoned by a heavy metal,
you search desperately
For a cause, someone to blame, for I present a great cost
a gift that has become a burden.

To you, I seem unresponsive and in constant need,
and you want what you think is best for me,
to return me to whom I was before I changed,
the normal person that I was at birth.

By your fears you do not see,
that this is what I was meant to be.
I have great potential,
a mind that can set endless focus on a single task,
though I may seem unable to ask for help when I am in difficulty,
and I do not socialize
as you expect me to, it is not a fault of mine.

Open your eyes, and you may see that I am not diseased,
nor have I been poisoned,
and this fault you see is but a part of the whole of me.

See not only the muddy roots but also the beautiful blossom,
for I do not need a cure.

I need help to be sure,
but come to see the whole of me,
and then you can truly say that you love me.

Thomas O. Willcox, III

Living On A Spectrum

By Nikki Satterlund

I live on a spectrum
Of colors and lights
Where here it is dark, and here it is bright
But mostly,
I balance on the shades in between.

In my world, yellow is happy
And blue is sad.
And a rainbow is what I am.
A rainbow of colors, the shape of a circle,
Where the ink bleeds from beginning to end.

My colors, they shine like lights.
Bursting from me.
Society wants to dim the lights,
Put a lid on them,
Tuck them away from everyone’s eyes.

Because somehow,
I’m never enough.
I’m always too much.
Not disabled enough for this
Too disabled for that.
Not gay enough for this,
Too gay for that.

But my world,
This spectrum
Is not a puzzle
Though I am a piece.
There are no slots, no puzzle shaped holes
But maybe this piece was not meant to fit in.
Maybe none of us were.

I’ll spin, I’ll stim, I’ll flap.
I’ll be who I am
And love who I love
And think how I think
And stand where I stand.
I’ll drop my balancing act
Uncap the lid
Let out my light
And break out of the shades in between.

How to Talk to an Autistic Kid Hardcover – April 1, 2011