I was in Rite Aid a while ago. I was picking up some things for snacks that I can eat at my desk. I have a lot of work and don’t want to be away from my desk too much.
As I was browsing one aisle, a young woman walked up. She was talking on her cell phone while she shopped. As she approached me, I heard her say to whoever she was talking to on her phone, “That is kinda like retarded, it’s autistic.”
I went cold all over and thought I was going to throw up. All I could do was stand there listening to her talk about how people with autism are basically retarded. I couldn’t make myself move. I looked at her, but she didn’t even look at me. She just got what she was looking for, kept on with her conversation and walked away.
I wanted to tell her, “I have autism and I am NOT retarded!”
But I didn’t. I just turned and walked away. I went directly to the cashier, paid for my things and went back to my office where it is somewhat safer (not as safe as home – I want to go home! – but safer than out there). I was shaking by the time I sat down at my desk.
I admit, it was not easy at all for me to pray for her – it was really hard!
How can people be so ignorant and still survive? What is it going to take to educate people about autism? This is autism awareness month.
If you learn nothing about autism this month, please at least learn that autism is NOT, like, retarded.