I spent the morning a couple of days ago at a high school freshman orientation. We all know the horror stories of the push to fit in to the social environment of high school. It occurred to me as I was watching the kids that it must be very hard for the neuro-typical kids who are ‘different.’
For autistic or other ‘special’ kids, the typical kids kind of expect them to be different. “Oh, that’s just him, he’s autistic you know.” But for the different NT kids, it must go something more along the lines of, “Man, that kid is just weird” and “Hey, Bobby, why don’t you act/dress/speak like the rest of us?”
I guess that is really just good old-fashioned peer pressure.
We can only hope that all kids are able to be themselves and achieve their own destinies, despite any attempts – however benign or malicious – to make them change.
Here are some lyrics from a song that you may recognize. A rant against the shallowness of conformity, and a hope that we can achieve more:
What happened to the dreams of a girl President
She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent
They travel in packs of two or three
With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees
Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
Oh where, oh where could they be?
Disease is growing, it’s epidemic
I’m scared that there ain’t a cure
The world believes it and I’m going crazy
I cannot take any more
I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in
That will never be me
Outcasts and girls with ambition
That’s what I wanna see
Disasters all around
Their only concern
Will they **** up my hair
In case you don’t recognize the song, it is Stupid Girls from Pink.