Autism is something that kind of gets swept under the carpet, and In america there is way too much of a negative stigma on autism. For some odd reason people think that someone is autistic is stupid, which is just not true. Autism for one, is a broad spectrum so I don't know how you could nail a narrow minded word such as “stupid” on such a large variety of humans. Some people who have Autism can seem like your everyday person, and some are just unique in their own way- but that doesn't make them stupid. Many autistic children may lack social graces or whatever the case may be, again it's hard to say because the autism spectrum is so large, but they typically have a strong suit in other ways. I strongly believe it is time to end the stigma, and treat autistic people just like you’d treat anybody else.

My brother is autistic, and my family and I refer to him more as nonverbal than anything else because that's really what it boils down to as far as the way he behaves. He just cant speak, so he communicates with sign language and gestures. He acts like a normal teenager, watching YouTube videos and attached to the computer. Even though he may have a hard time communicating, he does everyday things like making his dinner plate and cleaning his room. A lot of times people may stare at him in public because he outwardly shows such joy for everything with laughs and giggles which isn't typical in our society. Do I think he’s stupid for the small social flaws? Absolutely not. He’s so smart, he can probably work a computer better than any typical kid his age. Because somehow he knows how to play 10+ videos at the same time.

I think it's a blessing to have grown up with a brother who is autistic, because it teaches you about the world. For me, it has taught me that you should take those two seconds and smell the roses and live in the moment, and find the happiness in the small things. My brother is always smiling and laughing at something, whether it's getting excited about his favorite food or a silly YouTube video--he finds joy in all the small things. Sure sometimes I might feel weird getting stares when we go out with my brother, but I just remember that some people are just ignorant to the fact that all people are different.

My mom always says that she believes everyone is a little bit autistic. everyone's brain functions a little bit differently, and everyone has their own struggles within themselves. Weather it be something like ADD/ADHD, Depression, anxiety, etc. we all process things differently because of these differences- autistic children just have a different level of brain development. autistic children aren't weird or stupid, they're just unique children.