In this time and place, lives a young girl given the name, Seraphia. She is different from other children. She is autistic. This often makes other people misunderstand her, but Seraphia is not alone. She has a special companion – a celestial dragon named Starfire.
Starfire is not like the dragons of legend. He is small and has shimmering scales that sparkle like rainbows in the early morning mist and like stars in the night sky. His wings are also rainbow-colored, but unlike the cold leathery wings one might imagine a dragon to have, they are soft and warm as feathery down. He often wraps them around Seraphia like a comforting blanket to warm her heart when she needs it the most.
He was sent to Seraphia by the celestial being, to be her companion and protector. No one else can see Starfire.He is a magic dragon after all. Seraphia often talks about him but pretends that he is only in her imagination.
Seraphia and Starfire spend their days exploring the countryside and playing in the fields. They are happy together, and Seraphia’s autism does not hinder her because their friendship gives her inner strength.
One day, while they were out exploring, they came across a dark and sinister forest. The trees were twisted and gnarled, and a thick mist hung over the ground. Starfire warned Seraphia that they should not enter, but she was curious and would not be deterred.
People often told Seraphia that she was not capable to do things because she was autistic. Even the elders and wise men of the community assumed she was just a helpless child, who could never be anything more than what they imagined her to be. Seraphia knew differently. She was determined to prove everyone wrong.
As they ventured deeper into the forest, they came across a terrible creature – a giant, fire-breathing dragon. The dragon was fierce and terrifying, and Seraphia and Starfire realized that they were no match against his terrible rages!
Seraphia was very frightened. She took a deep breath, but instead of running away, she stopped and quietly observed the dragon. She didn’t try to speak to the dragon. She didn’t try to stop the dragon as he thrashed about, she just quietly sat on a rock and waited for him to calm down.
She understood, because of her friendship with Starfire, that dragons were not necessarily mean just because they were dragons. She also understood that being different often made people afraid of you, even when there was really nothing to be afraid of. She understood how it felt to be judged wrongly and could understand why the dragon was so upset.
She understood this, because people treated the fact that she was autistic as if it was a bad thing. People assumed being autistic made her weak and incapable, but she knew differently!
Her parents couldn’t help but realize she was different from the moment she was born. They saw her difference as being special. They didn’t always understand her, and it wasn’t until many years later that they finally discovered why she was so special.
Her name was Seraphia! Her parents gave her that name because they knew she would be great, that she would fly high! Others only saw her as a disability, but her parents saw her inner magic! Seraphia knew what it was like to be misunderstood, just because of assumptions based on ignorance, even still she chose kindness and love in the face of ignorance. She was determined not to make the same mistake as all the other people had made with her, with this dragon.
Seraphia convinced Starfire, with his celestial powers, to communicate with the dragon. Dragon-speak is a very delicate process. It took a while, but Seraphia was patient and waited. Seraphia and Starfire learned that the dragon was not truly evil but had been cursed by a wicked sorcerer. The sorcerer had taken the dragon away from his home and left him in the dark cold cave all alone. He was very sad and lonely, but no one would be his friend. No one was kind to him because he was a very large scary looking dragon. He also breathed fire and people assumed that he did so because he was evil. For him fire-breathing was just something dragons do, but the people didn’t understand and so they were afraid and ran away. Those that did not run away were cruel and made fun of him, even throwing rocks at him as he tried to sleep in his cave! This made him very angry and distrustful of people.
In reality, he too was a celestial dragon and belonged high in the sky above the judgmental eyes of ignorance. Unfortunately, his wing was injured, and he could not fly. With Starfire’s help, Seraphia was able to break the curse and free the dragon from its torment. All it really took was kind words and patience, you see, unbeknownst to the dragon, his wing had healed a long time ago, but the cruel words the dragon heard daily from the judgmental people had convinced him that he would never be able to fly or return to his home in the sky, so he had never tried.
In gratitude, the dragon bestowed upon Seraphia a magical ring. With the ring on her finger, Seraphia and Starfire journeyed home, their hearts filled with hope and wonder. From that day forward, Seraphia though different, knew she was a brave and kind-hearted hero, even if others could not see it. Starfire, her celestial dragon, remained her constant companion but she no longer needed his protection.
Together, Seraphia and Starfire will live many more adventures, and their stories will be told throughout the land for generations to come. Seraphia’s story will be a tale of courage, determination, and the power of friendship, where a young girl with autism and her celestial dragon companion, overcomes the prejudices and misconceptions of others, to prove that true strength comes from within. It will be a reminder that we should not judge, or label others based on their differences, but rather embrace them as unique and special individuals. As Seraphia’s legend spreads, more and more people will come to understand that being different is not a weakness, but a strength and that everyone has the potential to be a hero in their own way.
Many individuals on the autism spectrum and their families believe that autism is not a disability, but rather a different way of thinking and perceiving the world. They may view autism as a unique set of strengths and abilities, rather than solely focusing on the challenges it may present. This perspective is often referred to as the neurodiversity paradigm. It emphasizes the idea that neurological differences such as autism should be accepted and respected, just like cultural and linguistic diversity.
The neurodiversity movement is about accepting and valuing people with autism for who they are and recognizing that the qualities associated with autism can be valuable contributions to society. This includes an inclination toward attention to detail, an aptitude for pattern recognition, and a heightened ability to focus on a task for extended periods of time. It’s important to note that autism is a spectrum disorder and the level of support needed varies from person to person. Some may need more support than others, but the goal is for all individuals to be accepted and included in their communities, with the accommodations they need to thrive.