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An Interesting Way To Lack Autism Awareness

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 18, 2023

My synagogue was having our annual fair for the community. We had lots of vendors attending to sell goods and advertise services. My wife and fourteen-year-old son were hosting a table for one of the vendors, an autism-friendly play-place (with the word “spectrum” in its name) at which my son is a member.

At about noon, I took a break from my volunteer position and took my wife’s place at the table so that she could get lunch. A woman came up to the table and glanced over the literature.

Woman: “Are you Spectrum?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: “Are you Spectrum?”

I thought that was a funny way to put it but was willing to play along.

Me: “No, but he is.” *Pointing to my son*

The woman looked confused but then recovered.

Woman: “Well, what are you going to do about your rates now that Disney and [Multiple Sports Provider] have changed their packages?”

Our local cable company also has the word “spectrum” in its name.

Me: “Ma’am, autism-spectrum not cable-spectrum.”

Woman: *Very flustered* “Oh, I’m so sorry.” *Scurries away*

Son: “Why did she say that?”

Me: “Because some grown-ups don’t pay attention. They see just one word but don’t look at all the other words around it.”

Son: “Oh, I get it.”

It turned out to be a good learning opportunity — hopefully, for two people.

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