Top 40 Lessons Autism Has Taught Me

In honor of my 40th birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you the top 40 things parents and children affected by autism have taught me:

  1. I love helping others.
  2. Children are incredible.
  3. Children have so much to teach us.
  4. Stop and smell the flowers.
  5. Stop and notice the details.
  6. Smile often.
  7. Dance and move your body like nobody is watching.
  8. It’s okay to spend time doing what you love to do, even if you repeat the same activity over and over and over again.
  9. Everyone should get to choose their own happiness.
  10. Everyone has something incredible to add to this world.
  11. Thinking differently makes the world a better place.
  12. Nobody is better than anybody else.
  13. There is a bright side to everything.
  14. Jumping on a trampoline is fun.
  15. Watching the same movie over and over is relaxing.
  16. Asking for help is key.
  17. Giving yourself time and space to feel upset is important.
  18. Your strength never ceases to amaze me.
  19. Sleep is so important.
  20. People in our communities, all around the world, have so much to learn about autism.
  21. You never know what someone is going through.
  22. Always ask someone in need, “Is there something I can do to help you?”
  23. People learn differently.
  24. I use a lot of metaphors in my daily life.
  25. Language can be very confusing.
  26. Autism really is a superpower.
  27. Food comes in many shapes, textures, and sizes.
  28. Sharing isn’t easy.
  29. Rocking can be incredibly calming.
  30. Exercise and movement is important for focus.
  31. Relaxation means something different to different people.
  32. We have so much to learn about each other.
  33. Parents are the most important teachers in a child’s life.
  34. Communication comes in many forms.
  35. Patterns are everywhere.
  36. Sitting still is boring.
  37. Climbing under the covers and inside tents gives you a whole new perspective.
  38. Everyone hears music differently.
  39. Celebrating milestones, no matter how big or small, is essential.
  40. I am incredibly grateful that I have found a career that truly lights me up…day in and day out I am dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families. I am thankful for you.

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Jennifer Lingle, M.Ed.

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