“Parents who want an inclusive life for their children, parents and true allies who believe every person has the right to experience life at its fullest, the way each one of us can, need to be informed and educated.” Parents who want an inclusive life for their children, parents and true allies who believe every person has the right to experience life at its fullest, the way each one of us can, need to be informed and educated. Parents should be learning about the history of the Disability Rights Movement; facts are important if you want to fight for either your child’s or another adult’s rights. History will tell you what to fight for without wasting all the energy you have. It will also help you educate others about the value of the lives of disabled people. The best way parents can educate themselves is by seeking information from other disabled people. Our lives are full of happiness, sadness, ups, downs, struggles and accomplishments, just like any other person’s life. Many of us have been through events that you would not want your children to go through, or we have learned how to be proud of whom we are and how to deal with sometimes real debilitating issues. We can Amy Sequenzia is a passionate autistic activist, writer and poet. For more of Amy’s writing, follow her blog Non-Speaking Autistic Speaking. You can also find Amy on Autism Women’s Network and Ollibean and follow Amy on Twitter at @AmySequenzia. 14 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses help you by sharing our experiences. Your child is part of our tribe, and we want him to succeed. Seeking members of the disability tribe is free and will teach you that hope is not something to long for with pain and pessimism but a certainty that only requires respect for the human being each disabled person is. Disability is not a tragedy, but it is complicated sometimes. Involvement will forever be part of your life. When we educate ourselves, we learn to value every achievement and every person. Changing attitudes toward disabled people is an act of activism that begins with respect, information from the ones who are the only true experts, and education. This change in attitude is for your child, for the person you love, for all of us, and it can start with you. (The above is edited and shared with permission from Amy’s original post that appeared on the Ollibean Website on October 7, 2014.) Do you have an informative story about what it is like to be YOU, an autistic person, that you would like to share? Send your 800 word or less first-person essay to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Zoom-IN” in the subject line for consideration.