Words are powerful.
Cadence is a 7-year-old Australian girl with autism and acute senses that cause her to intensely absorb her surroundings, including smells, sights and conversations. Recently, Cadence wrote a note to her mother, Angela, after overhearing discussions among parents and on the news that led her to believe she is "bad."
"What 'messages' are children hearing - from ourselves, from other parents, at school, from media and in the general community? And what are the 'take home' learnings, spoken or unspoken, they are internalizing from these messages?" Angela wrote on the Facebook page I am Cadence.
The post was shared over a thousand times and Angela spoke with BuzzFeed about the impact ignorance can have on others.
“The burden of responsibility for enabling all children to feel safe, accepted and loved, rests with us, the ‘grown-ups’ – and sometimes we need reminding that we don’t always do a good job of it,” she told BuzzFeed.
I am Cadence started after the young girl landed in local headlines in August for an essay she wrote about being different for a school assignment:
Autism is why I’m different. It’s why I don’t talk. It’s why I get scared of people. It’s why I like to know things before they happen. It’s why I like sharp pencils. It’s why I don’t like people touching me. It’s why I like mummy cuddles. It’s why I get sad at parties. It’s why I like to hide in cupboards. It’s why I like jumping and somersaults. It’s why mummy speaks differently from me. It’s why I need more time to do things. It might be why I’m clever but my brain might just have been born clever just like it was born Autism. My hair was born blonde. I am Cadence. I am just me.
The purpose of the page is to make a difference, Angela wrote Thursday.
"I am Cadence is building on the concept that every child is innately special and every child has their own ‘I am Me’ story; and, that it is perhaps through the sharing of individuality over ‘fitting in,' of encouraging curiosity and discussion over ‘gossip,' of promoting innocence over grown up perceptions – that it might just be possible, in some small way, to impact the world in a meaningful way – one story at a time."