We started this journey in 2009 when our oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, at the age of six. He opened our eyes to the challenges of living in a ‘neurotypical world,’ where all-important social rules seem arbitrary and confusing and the subtle ways that we share information through a glance or a shrug can be an absolute mystery.Comments we used to throw around carelessly like: “She has no social skills” or “He just doesn’t get it,” suddenly took on new significance. While we experienced our son as a wacky, lovable and brilliant kid, we recognized his non-conformity could exclude or isolate him from fully participating, or being accepted by, our community here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
First and foremost, this blog is a place for us to learn and share: to build a virtual Circle of Friends for our son, our family and hopefully for others. It is also an invitation to everyone to reconsider people they think of as ‘outside’ our circle or our society in some way. What do we miss when we turn away from difference and the discomfort it often provokes in us? How can we expand our comfort zone and make room for others around the circle?