When you flip a coin, there is a 50% chance of it landing on heads up and a 50% chance of it landing tails up. Life, a tossed coin with legs, is even less probable. Often, we do not toss the coin, but deal with situations tossed our way. This happened on September 11, 2001, when many people’s lives changed and the world became an even less predictable place to live. It also happens when a mom or dad embraces his or her child with autism, when that’s not the diagnosis they expected for a child.
Come From Away, a show on Broadway written by Rene Sankoff and David Hein, tells of the events that September day and how two countries supported each other’s citizens. A nightmare was flipped to highlight that the obverse side of an evil coin is kindness. What is even better is that the audience of people who I was lucky enough to join to watch this brilliant spin on a tragic day was people with autism and their families. Theatre Development Fund (TDF) offers “autism friendly” performances.
Even though, one may inherit some “coins’ tosses,” one can still choose one’s attitude. Sometimes that is the only card you play. This performance of the show offered less sensory elements and accommodations, such as weighted blankets, fidget toys, and headphones. Come From Away was a brilliant selection that also highlighted how we make a difference in each other’s lives to come together. Heads or tails- sometimes doesn’t matter. The result that does matter is to expect the best in all of us. Being included means embracing everyone everywhere, no matter where a plane lands or what a diagnosis reveals. Life is more than small change. We are all valuable players.