I appreciate you!

In Sidewalk Cracks: Authentic Relationships

In life we play on sidewalk squares.

You on your NT sidewalk square

You jump to my square to help me out

(and so does everyone else)

That I need all the help you can give.

You teach me to copy your ways.

I jump to your square and copy you.

You are happy because I am learning

To copy your ways in the world.

All I have is you helping me

And me copying your ways.

Is it a wonder the feeling of alien predominates?

There is more to jumping over the sidewalk crack.

Together jumping into the crack between

A real relationship in the making


Dear Reader,

“I have come to understand relationships by looking at sidewalks. I imagine

people each on their own sidewalk square. Growing up I had many helpers.

People who were helpers would jump from their own sidewalk square over to my

sidewalk square. They would stand by me on my sidewalk square and help me.

Eventually, I came to learn their ways.

Once I learned to copy the ways of other people I was allowed to jump over to

their sidewalk square and occupy space with them. This jumping around on

sidewalk squares happened in various ways for most of my life. It wasn’t very

fulfilling. I often felt like an alien, other-ed, sometimes allowed and always oddly


Then I learned something new! I learned about jumping into the sidewalk crack

with another human being. I discovered that in sidewalk cracks is the place of

real relationship. It is the place where we each come as we are and it is perfectly

fine. We are at home with each other in this space regardless of which version of

self we bring that day. As we jump from our square into this sidewalk crack we

find that together we are more than the sum of our individual parts and we find

that each is necessary to the other. It is a relationship of equality based on our

separate commodities of uniqueness.

I have come to learn that even though I do not measure up to be very many

inches when the yardstick of NT normal used, I no longer use these very little bit

of inches to define my human worth. Instead, I count all of my inches that nobody

has yet found a way to measure.” (Endow, 2013, p.208)

In the process of sharing with you I have come up strong and tall. I grew tall,

rising up out of the sidewalk cracks of meaningful friendships. I grew strong in the

sharing with you by deciding to count the inches of my tallness that the NT

yardstick cannot yet measure. I am blessed. My heart is full. I have you, the

reader to thank. If you are still reading, thank you for walking this journey with me

throughout the year. I appreciate you!



Endow, J. (2013). Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI:

CBR Press.

Image description black and white photograph of woman with long brown hair and glasses smiling.JUDY ENDOW, MSW

Judy Endow, MSW is an autistic author, artist and international speaker on a variety of autism related topics. Read more from Judy on Ollibean here and on her website www.judyendow.com.