One of the most intriguing parts of this training was when a panel of four adults with Asberger's Syndrome came to talk about their lives, struggles and answer questions from the audience. There were consistent and clear messages from these individuals:
1) To be seen as people first; not first by the autism label.
2) To be treated with respect, dignity & care.
3) To be included with "typical" people and peers.
4) If people feel the need to put a label on them- to put one of "different" NOT disabled or as if something is wrong with them just because they have been diagnosed with autism.
To me, this seems unbelievably fair and reasonable. I am encouraged by the hope, research and knowledge being shared about people with autism. I hope that I will continue to see students as people first instead of looking first at their label or disability. I hope you will do the same.