“How long is this interview going to take? Will I be out of class for a long time? Will I be missing worship time? How many questions are there?“ asked Josh as he walked towards a table to sit down and chat. He was nervous but assured that this would be a fun interview preparation time for his tv interview in a couple of days with 2 News Oklahoma.
In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, we asked Josh about himself and what it’s like for him to be an Autistic person. To prepare him for several questions, the interview started with relaxing music in the background and him sharing a little bit about himself. First, he shared that his favorite snacks are trail mix, pretzels with salt, and watermelon. Then with a big smile on his face, he said, “I like key lime pie, cherry pie, and pumpkin pie.” And, of course, we could not skip his favorite drinks and food. His top favorite drinks are water because he says it’s healthy, and root beer, Dr. Pepper, and lemonade. And can you guess what his favorite food is? He said, “Pizza.” And then proceeded on to share that a dream he has is to visit his uncle Glen, his dad’s brother, in Germany because he is nice and that is a place he would like to visit.
When he was asked about what he wants people to know about autistic people, he said he wants others not to be afraid or worried about people who are autistic. He shared that being autistic means he learns differently. And he likes that at Pathways, he gets to be around other people that are autistic too.
April is celebrated as Autism Acceptance Month each year. Acceptance is more than simple “awareness.” Acceptance is about celebrating our differences and similarities, meaningfully including autistic individuals in our lives, our churches, schools, clubs, and in community employment. If you’d like to increase your understanding of autism, we invite you to come volunteer or take a tour at Pathways! If you’d like to read more on autism, we recommend checking out, “Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity” by Steve Silberman.
We are thankful for Josh taking his time to share what it’s like for him to be an autistic person and as he said it best, “everybody is different, and that’s okay.” May we remember a rainbow and realize that all colors are beautiful and make up the rainbow as we think about Autism Acceptance Month in April and all year-round.