In December, the Jubilee Project released the short film, “Fireflies,” to raise awareness for autism. In the film, Peter and his new autistic friend, Annie, discovered a shared language of their own and learned that beauty is internal. We challenged you to submit stories of your own experiences and describe what autism means to you. We received 5 touching stories that made us think about autism in five completely new ways. We hope these stories will inspire you and remind you of individuals in your own lives. Reach out to them, learn from them, and keep on discovering what Autism is…
SUNG YU discovers why God has brought autistic people into the world.
Her name is Amy. She is 19 years old, 2 years older than me. I always knew she was my older sister but I never noticed that as we were both growing up, she was very different. I would play outside with my friends, but she had no friends. And I didn’t notice that probably because I was too young. I would play video games and then do stuff outside and then come back in and do something else, but she sat at a desk for half the day just drawing and coloring. And I didn’t notice that probably because I was too young.
But we all grow up from our adolescence sometimes and we come to the realization about the “not so bright stuff” in this world, like how Santa Claus isn’t real or like how it’s really our parents that stick a 5 dollar bill under our pillow when we sleep instead of the tooth fairy.
Problem is, I can’t remember when or how I came to the realization that my sister is the way she is. It seems almost like I came to it overnight. But now I know what autism is and every day I come to it face to face.
I remember in recent years, thinking that it’s really sad for me that I’ll never know what it’s like to have a normal brother or sister that I can give advice to or receive advice from or always get in a fight with. But I later realized that what’s sadder, is that my sister will never understand what it’s like to have a true friend, to drive a car, to know that she’s surrounded by a family that loves her or even fall in love with somebody one day. Every once in a while I think about all this at once… and it brings tears to my eyes.
I wondered, “Why does God create people who are autistic? Why does he make suffering people that don’t know they’re suffering?” And then one day it came to my attention that this is not his doing, but simply his allowance. I feel God has allowed me a sister who is autistic to teach me how to be more humble and more patient in life. In the Bible, Jesus tells us to be like children, for they know only black and white. I know my sister is the same way. She doesn’t know the difference between good or evil, so she does good. She doesn’t know the difference between truth or lie, so she always tells the truth. And I’m supposed to follow that example and spread only goodness and truth to the world.
I honestly don’t know how my sister will end up in the future. And it slightly scares me, not knowing. But I know that we have a forever lasting bond, a secret morse code that cannot be deciphered by any other person on the planet because I love her, I understand her, and because God has made it this way.
Autism is seeing the beauty of the world through a different perspective.