What My Son With Autism Taught Me About Embracing Differences


I remember the day we met with the therapists to go over the results of my son’s Autism Spectrum Disorder evaluation. I knew before we even stepped foot into that room what the results were going to tell us; I also knew that we were going to be okay.

We never mourned as a family, never dwelled on the things he might never have, or could never be. Instead, we recognized and embraced his uniqueness, knowing that the world, too, would see the value in his differences and gifts.

Here’s what my son has taught me about embracing differences:

It’s critical we not only accept—but celebrate—our differences

My son was born beautiful, healthy, and hilarious—all 6 pounds, 13 ounces of him. From the moment he entered the world to the moment where I sit right now, writing this, I have been captivated by this incredible boy. He is remarkably intelligent, deeply kind, and uniquely himself. I emphasize “unique”, because, ironically, that is what he tries hardest not to be.  More than anything, this wonderful, bright light of a boy just wants to fit in.

Companies like Offleash are pivotal in creating a world that not only accepts but celebrates such differences. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion shines as a beacon of what corporate responsibility can look like in practice. Offleash’s initiatives promote an environment where unique perspectives are valued and where every individual, regardless of their background or challenges, is encouraged to shine.

The “B” in DEIB matters

“B”, signifying the importance of fostering a sense of belonging, was only added to the DEI framework in the past few years. While diversity, equity, and inclusion are core pillars of a company’s commitment and culture, every individual should also feel like they belong there. 

As we observe Autism Awareness Month, it is important to reflect on how such initiatives not only foster a better understanding of the spectrum but also promote a sense of belonging among those who often feel marginalized. This month helps to bridge gaps between different experiences, promoting a universal message of acceptance and appreciation for diversity. For my son, it represents a society moving towards inclusivity, one that sees his differences not as barriers, but as gateways to shared understanding and unique contributions.

Different Perspectives Fuel Innovation and Understanding

Learning from my son’s unique perspective has been enlightening. He sees the world in ways that many of us do not, noticing details and patterns that escape others. This has taught me the immense value of diverse perspectives, particularly in creativity and problem-solving. His different way of processing information challenges me to think outside my own experiences, fostering a richer, more inclusive approach to both personal interactions and professional strategies. 

In a world that thrives on innovation, embracing and understanding these diverse viewpoints is crucial. It’s not just about accommodating differences but leveraging them as a source of strength and inspiration. 

Every step we take towards a more accepting world reassures me that my son will indeed find his place to fit in, just as he is. As a parent, and as a member of a community that values diversity, I am grateful for the awareness that this month brings. It educates, it illuminates, and most importantly, it unites us in our differences, paving the way for a future where everyone has a place at the table.