Sarah is a proudly autistic indigenous Canadian and is interviewed with her dad Darren.
Tell us about Sarah?
Sarah loves unconditionally, so she’s very friendly, she’s very social. Sarah’s been gifted with the ability to connect and connect people. When we go places, we’ll go to the mall, we’ll go to the libraries, everybody seems to know Sarah on a first name basis. It’s “Hi Sarah! How are you doing Sarah?” and Sarah loves to introduce us to everybody else. She’s very much a connector and that’s been very good for us. We’re not very extroverted and so to have her constantly teach us how important it is to make those connections, to interact in a positive way with folks – has been a gift.
Sarah, what do you like to do?
I like to go to Nikki’s Cafe. I like to go to the library. I like to tell funny jokes. I have a dog whose name is Shiloh and he likes to lick my dad’s face.
How is autism perceived in indigenous communities and what lessons can we all learn from it?
The beauty of autism is that people across the spectrum are so unique, and as indigenous people we celebrate our differences. It takes time and effort and energy to understand people on the spectrum. I encourage Canadians to see autistic people for their uniqueness and strengths.