A Look Back and Then Forward…

Em wrote just now (and said I could publish what she wrote here):

“I want to talk about the New Year.

“I know it was an important year to talk to the world.  I need people to understand what it is like to be Autistic.  I could be daring by saying that, but I think it is the only way others will become more tolerant of those of us who think differently than most, and it is opportunity that both separates and connects.”

I have so many thoughts about this…  “it is opportunity that both separates and connects.”  That sentence could be the topic for an entire semester in graduate school.

After Emma wrote this, I asked her if I could share it with Richard and on here, to which she nodded and wrote “yes.”  Richard and I had different responses to the word “opportunity” but when asked to clarify, Emma was already listening to her music and as I told her our study session would last 25 minutes and no longer, I did not press her to elaborate.

I will end this brief post by saying this past year has been a monumental one for me and my family.  As I look back on previous years, there have been none that can compete.  Here’s to embarking on another incredible year filled with curiosity and wonder.  Thanks to all of you who have read, commented and/or reached out.

As Emma has advised many times over the last few months, “Be kind to each other” and “everyone should be treated kindly and with love.”

Happy New Year!

Self portrait

25 responses to “A Look Back and Then Forward…

  1. She is simply amazing. Happy new Year.

  2. Thank you Emma for continuing to teach us all. Happy New Year 🙂

  3. I get goosebumps when I read Emma’s words. It’s like she cuts through all the crap and just writes truth. Oliver does the same and it amazes me every day! I cannot wait to see what the new year brings for your family and for mine!

  4. Happy New Year to your entire family. And your extended family (us)!

    “Here’s to embarking on another incredible year filled with curiosity and wonder.” Amen to that! For all of us.

  5. booksonaspergersyndrome

    I’m wrecking my brain trying to understand. the opportunity is… what? the ability to write and explain to the world what it’s like to be autistic? it connects because if people will read and understand, it will connect their world to hers and others on the spectrum. it separates… maybe it shows how autistic people’s world is separated from neurotypicals’ world.
    or maybe i dont know what i’m talking about here. anyway, Emma is a kind person if she wants people to be kind to each other and thinks everyone should be treated kindly and with love.

    • I took the word “opportunity” to mean that by sheer happenstance she was born Autistic, just as I was born not or almost not. I interpreted her words to mean that because of things beyond our control we are given opportunities that we can use to create bridges of understanding or use our opportunity or privilege to divide and keep apart from.
      Richard understood her words quite differently, (in a more literal way) and your ideas are yet another thought! I will ask her to elaborate a bit later…

  6. Emma has a lot of insight into herself and the world. I always am curious how genetics are apparent even within children who seem so different from us- Emma’s parents are highly intelligent, insightful writers and so she is as well, albeit in a non-typical way. I say this because I am so curious to see glimpses of us in our Sophie as well- and I think I can, but it is subtle still.
    This was a wonderful year for you and all of us who followed along. All the best in the new- the sky is the limit for Emma.

  7. yes, autism, or any different “ism” is both a blessing and a curse–but this comes from the reactions of those around us. The contrast of separateness and connectedness is a great ponderance, one I have discussed throughout my Master’s degree courses, and hope to soon interject into my PhD program also! Applying now, wish me luck. I also wanted to say that through yur guidance, Ariane and Richard, Emma will have many more opportunities than I did, at a younger age, and she will live a brilliant life!

  8. To me opportunity means there lies an open road ahead of each one of us to fill with whatever is most meaningful, and to me by following Emma’s advice, it is kindness. I have a journal called “A Year of Kindness”, but because I can only type, and no longer write longhand, I am going to paste some of Emma’s profound insights into it instead.
    Love you, Emma! Granma

  9. Ariane and Richard…hang onto the seat you are sitting on with both hands when Emma shares…she will continue to come out with the most profound thoughts ever! She is a gem! Happy New Year to all of you..with much love from Jenn and I!

  10. Awesome! Tell Em that her thoughts are greatly appreciated by those of us who want to learn more about what it is like to be autistic. She can join the ranks of Ibby Anderson-Grace, Karla Fisher, Judy Endow (just to name a few) and so many others who have graciously opened their lives to those of us who want to learn.
    Happy New Year!

  11. Thanks so much to everyone here for all your love, support and encouragement. Peace, love and joy to all of you in 2014 and beyond ❤

  12. Beautiful comment to end off the year Emma!!! Well said about the polarizing opinions around this topic. Your families’ journey is inspiring and I feel special to have a glimpse of it;). My daughter is also autistic and continues to struggle to find her voice. I will never give up on her and so your blog helps me to keep the dream alive. I truly appreciate your hard word to share your lives with me and Darby!!! We must stick together even though we live far apart…. From up in cold Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! Take care Tracy

  13. Beautiful and amazing and wise. I love her ever present string too 🙂 🙂

  14. Happy New Year !
    It’s beautiful to see how eloquent Emma has become with proper communication support. I love her insight 🙂

  15. That is just beautiful! Well said
    Happy New Year to you, Emma &
    your incredible family….Mara

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