Alex Lowery speaks about autism

9 Autism/ ND lessons from Rudolf the Reindeer

Written on 12th Dec 2016 by Sylvia Lowery

Rudolf is a mythical character but seeing as how Christmas is near we thought it would be good to draw out some lessons around autism and difference.

Photo from Creative Commons

Photo from Creative Commons


1. He stood out from all the other reindeers.

2. Because he was different the other reindeers wouldn’t let him join in their games. Sadly being different can cause others to exclude you but never allow what other think to affect how you view yourself. To quote Alex ‘ What’s so great about being normal anyway?’

3. The part of him that was different proved to be a gift that saved Christmas and allowed Santa to guide the sleigh one foggy night. Always focus on your talents rather than your difference. I met with some amazing autistics recently who recounted being told they were wrong at school because they worked out the maths in their head instead of showing their working out. But actually they were gifted. Just because most people need to work a sum out on paper shouldn’t mean that everyone is expected to work in that way. There should be room within the education system to accept a different way of working.

4.  The other reindeer laughed at poor Rudolf. Yes this happened and it is common for autistic individuals to be laughed at but who is laughing when Rudolf got to guide Santas sleigh.

5. Rudolf glowed. Yes he was beautiful, just because a person is little differentfrom the majority doesn’t mean there is anything wrong.

6. Santa spotted Rudolfs potential. He gave him the opportunity to shine. It only takes one person to see the gift and encourage it and the possibilities are endless. If you are a parent or teacher always seek out the gifts and facilitate the opportunities to use the gifts. Be like Santa rather than the crowd of Reindeer who rejected Rudolf and could see no good just because he wasn’t like them.

7.  Once Rudolf became a success everyone wanted to be his friend. He didn’t cover his nose or change himself to be accepted. No he focused on what he did best and then the rest of the reindeers all wanted to be his friend. I am sure he was wise enough to choose friends who liked him for who he was rather than those who only wanted him because of his success.

8. He went down in history. Even now many years later we still sing about Rudolf. Who remembers all those other reindeer with their ordinary brown noses?  Being different made him memorable and useful. He could do something that no-one else could.

9. The other reindeer used to call him names. Don’t be like those reindeer and call people names. Rather accept and embrace difference. The world would be so boring if we were all the same.

Here is the original song

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer : Lyrics


Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Had a very shiny nose.

And if you ever saw him,

you would even say it glows.


All of the other reindeer

used to laugh and call him names.

They never let poor Rudolph

join in any reindeer games.


Then one foggy Christmas Eve

Santa came to say:

“Rudolph with your nose so bright,

won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”


Then all the reindeer loved him

as they shouted out with glee,

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,

you’ll go down in history!





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Organisations Alex has worked with

  • Autism Cymru
  • Chester University
  • Glyndwr University
  • National Autistic Society
  • St John's Ambulance
  • Welsh Government

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