Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anything you can do, I can do better!

  I don't know if any of my readers recognised the title of this blog from the musical Annie Get Your Gun, but that was where I got the idea from for this blog. If you listen to the song, it is about a boy and a girl saying that girls can be equal to and even surpass boys in some things. While I agree with the fact that women are equal to men, I actually thought of Aspies (and kids on the autism spectrum in general) who can do things that other people think we cannot, even surpassing people's expectations.
   Allow me to explain. I have a really good guy friend who is autistic. Let's call him Mark. Mark is a high functioning autistic boy who  I have become very close with. He, like myself, is a swimmer and enjoys his routine.
   Like all autistic kids, Mark has his problems with sound, and many things seem intense for him. However, a few years ago, he was able to swim Alcatraz. This involves swimming from the former prison to the shore in a wetsuit with who knows what floating around and  many people around you. Not the ideal environment for an autistic kid or an Aspie, period.
   But Mark is different. He swam that race and, remarkably, finished. The thing people said he could not do he managed to accomplish without any help whatsoever, completely by himself. I call him the wonder swimmer not because he could do it, but because he proved all of those people wrong who claimed that because he was autistic, he could never finish. Mark did, and is contemplating swimming it again because he enjoyed it so much!
   Moral of the story: just because someone says you cannot do something, doesn't mean you can't. Mark went against all his naysayers and came out on top. So remember Aspies and autistic kids everywhere: don't let someone's opinion of what you can do. You can do anything if you set your mind to, even if it seems impossible.

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