“I think fitting in is highly overrated. I’d rather just fit out… Fitting out means being who you are, even when people insist that you have to change. Fitting out means taking up space, not apologizing for yourself, and not agreeing with those who seek to label you with stereotypes.”
–Golda Poretsky, author
Every day, one of the first things that arrives in my inbox is an email containing some pretty cool trivia, along with a quote. Most of the time, I move through the email rather quickly, pick up some interesting facts, and get on with the day. Some days, however, I stop on contemplate the quote or the trivia. Today, the quote caught my attention.
The concept of “fitting in,” in my opinion, is contrary to most of what defines a person on the autism spectrum, or somebody with Asperger’s. Yes, there are some characteristics of Asperger’s especially in girls, that make a diagnosis more difficult because girls are more likely to mix in with the crowd. But, no matter how much as aspie tries to blend in, the characteristics that make that aspie “fit out” are always present.
No matter how hard Kaitlyn tries to “fit in” with the crowd at school, she will never truly be like the other kids. And that is wonderful and amazing. She is her own person, no matter how much she tries to be like the other kids.
One of the cool things about Kaitlyn’s Asperger’s is that, deep down, she really does not care what people think about her. She has her own sense of fashion, and is undeterred in focusing on things that other kids may have outgrown. Her blending in stems more from following the crowd than it does making the deliberate choice to just fit in to not be made fun of.
The idea of “fitting in” is one that too many people are comfortable with. I like that Kaitlyn will probably never master how to truly fit in. She will always have her quirks and differences, and Amber and I will always celebrate them as what makes her who she is.