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Fisherman: Hey, kid! There ain’t no room in this town for a dragon, and there ain’t no room in this town for jinxes like you, neither!

Nora: Well, if there’s enough room for a chowderhead like you, there’s more than enough room for a dragon.

This memorable scene from the movie Pete’s Dragon leads into Helen Reddy’s lovely song:

“There’s room for everyone in this world, if everyone makes some room. Won’t you move over and share this world? Back up and make some room.”

Nurturing the social thinking that underlies social skills forms a large part of the mission of most parents of children with autism. But the burden of “fitting in” shouldn’t be wholly on our kids. No one can fit in anywhere if the larger community doesn’t make room for them.

Bryce and I just came from a visit to the college where he’s enrolled for next year. The head of the Access Services department—many schools call this Disabilities Services—told us that 30% of the student body has some form of so-called disability. So the college’s byword for accommodations is “whatever it takes.” In this environment, students with so-called disabilities aren’t “special education.” They’re a valued part of a community that welcomes and revels in its diversity.

Chowderheads, join us. The wave has reached your shore. Challenge your perspective, learn, connect, grow beyond your biases. Move over and share this world. We’ll do the same for you.

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2 Responses to ““If there’s enough room for a chowderhead like you, there’s more than enough room for a dragon.””

  1. I interviewed the mother of an 8-year-old last month. She was weary from taking him to therapy appointment after therapy appointment. She has misgivings about the arrival of summer, when neighbor kids will play while their parents visit – and her family looks on. She said, “We’ve done our part to help him. Isn’t it time for everyone else to do their part?”

  2. I think that we can meet in the middle or a third or a quarter or even a tenth of the road but the important is that each one do at least a small piece of road. The responsibility of a meeting is always at least of two people. I can walk but I need someone that walk to me. Thank you. Simon

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