Young man on the autism spectrum highlights the importance of being inclusive

By Ryan Lee

This guest post is by Ryan Lee, a rising autism self-advocate

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For a long time I always struggled to understand why I couldn’t be accepted or why I couldn’t fit in. It can be a struggle for a lot of people, but mostly for those on the spectrum and other disabilities. That’s why we have to work hard to build a more inclusive community. SBSK (Special Books By Special Kids) which I was on is a prime example. SBSK has done so well in helping individuals like myself experience societal acceptance and be acknowledged as more than their diagnosis and I can’t thank Chris Ulmer enough for it. Feeling excluded because you’re different is one of the worst feelings and for example it really upsets a parent when someone implies that their kid isn’t neurotypical enough to hang out with. Being on the spectrum or having a disability doesn’t mean they can’t still feel and isn’t something they should be punished for. I used to be called weird all the time and sometimes still am. Just because I can be a little weird doesn’t make me less human. In fact, weird can be a good thing. We should be exposed to a lot of differences.  Here’s the thing, we might not all look the same or act the same, but we feel the same feelings, like happiness, sadness, disappointment and hope. If that’s the case, then why can’t we get along? If we work hard to build a more inclusive community, we can make the world a better place.

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