On autism “miracle” videos.

I recently got sent this article by Stephanie Haberman at mashable about a little girl with autism playing piano and singing with Katy Perry. It’s a beautiful story:


Here’s the video:

There are so many videos out there about children with autism proclaiming that things like this are a miracle.  As a mother with two autistic children, I get a lot of these sent to me. I appreciate that people send them. It’s wonderful for people to discover stuff like this. It’s important that the world knows. But you see, this is *your* discovery.

I’ve known this about my kids far longer than anyone who’s known them. But my kids don’t care. I just care that they’re able to be safe and hopefully one day live an independent lives.  We don’t care about the glamour or dazzling the world with their “special qualities.” They just want to be.

So please, be happy, but don’t be surprised. Your perspective was blown because society has taught you that people who think differently have no potential. Society is wrong. THIS is an awesome video because in a way it shows a journey we’ve had with my children every single day. It’s not because this little girl is singing. It’s because she’s able to be up there, be happy, and comfortable in her surroundings without having a fit. Look at the way she walks off the stage with Perry. Arms partially up and fingers about to stim. She’s surviving every second.

Autistics aren’t a puzzle. The rest of the world is.


  1. Just wanted to say I read your post after seeing it on the Katy Perry Firework article on Mashable and as the younger brother of an autistic man, I totally agree. It’s important that the world doesn’t see Autism as some disability to cure and to fix but as the amazing people with amazing talents that they are. I have learned so much from my brother and the amazing things he does now. The world needs a paradigm shift, not those of us who already know how special and unique our friends and family on the spectrum are.

  2. As someone on the spectrum myself, THANK YOU for writing this. It is so very true. It disheartens me to see people so surprised that autistic individuals can be successful. But as you say, it is how they’ve been taught. Certain high-profile organizations like to spread the idea that autism is a disease to be cured. It most certainly is not – it is just a different way of thinking about and interacting with the world. I hope that in time more people will come to realize this.

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