Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Autistic Looks Like to Me : The Alternative Spectrum

Reposted with permission by the author.  Original post at


What Autistic Looks Like to Me by The Alternative Spectrum

Autism is kindness without worry or social norms, going above and beyond to help and do good for others; often without consideration for ourselves. My friends with autism are some of the kindest, generous and supportive people I have ever known. 

Autism is freedom. Freedom from social rules that confine and restrict. When my son dances in the supermarket or outside in the rain, why shouldn't he? Who is to decide what is right and wrong behaviour? He is not hurting anyone or himself so why not leave him to it? Don't trap him with your intolerance, ignorance and created rules (and believe me I know, I've studied social psychology!) Just because something is different doesn't make it defective or wrong.

Autism is determination. The ability to focus on a loved thing regardless of everything else. It's got a lot of people far... many rich, famous and successful people are on the autism spectrum somewhere. For example, Satoshi Tajiri created Pokemon. He has aspergers syndrome. The idea came from his love of the outdoor and collecting insects and became a worldwide phenomenon still loved by people everywhere 20 years later. Oh, and by the way is currently working as the SEO of Game Freak. 

Autism is everywhere. You can't tell someone has autism by looking. Sometimes that's an advantage but sometimes it makes life even harder because our disability is missed. We look like any other person, can be any age, race, tall, short, fat or thin. Maybe you work with someone who has autism, or maybe their child, parent, partner or best friend does. Maybe one day, your child will!

Autism is a challenge. Everyday can be hard for someone with autism. It would be great if people with power, who are looked up to my millions could support, understand and raise awareness not make it harder and put us down. Simple everyday situations you take for granted, like going to the store or being able to drive a car can be so hard or even impossible. Can you even begin to imagine how that feels? How a mother feels when she has to abandon her groceries and race out of a shop carrying a wailing, failing child who simply cannot bear the noise of the supermarket any more? And believe me no helps, no one cares other than to mutter and judge.

You think your so tough and cool? like you can handle yourself and anyone or anything that comes along? Come and live in my house for a week. Come and see what autism really looks likes! I dare you too! Come and stop my two sons with autism killing each other while attending to my daughters needs... try and keep some form of orderly house, feed them - oh and my son cannot have milk, eggs, wheat, oranges, cucumbers, parsley, preservatives, cashews and a whole heap of other stuff so while your doing the food shop don't forget to read every single label on every single product you buy. No take aways, ready made meals and fast foods here; impossible to know what's in them and believe me you don't want to have to look after my son after he's hyper on milk! or change his nappies/clothes after he's occidentally had wheat! Yes, that's right he's five years old but he still isn't toilet trained. He'll need reminding to wear his glasses because he doesn't understand why he needs them, you'll need to say things over and over in every possible context they could occur and say exactly what you mean! No sarcasm, no idioms or vagueness. He can solve a rubix puzzle, could count to over 100, knew colours, shapes, letters etc before starting school at 4 and has an encyclopaedia like memory! I dare you to try. Come live in my world. See the reality of autism, the pain and frustration but also the love and purity; the greatness. If I could lend you my autism, dyslexia and poor memory I would so you could feel it to. But I'd never give it away, I wouldn't chose to change and lose so many great things, despite the struggles. We are all different, difference is not defective. Autism is not a defect, it in not an insult. Are you man enough, mature enough; brave enough to actually learn the truth?

1 comment:

  1. "Autism is everywhere. You can't tell someone has autism by looking. Sometimes that's an advantage but sometimes it makes life even harder because our disability is missed."

    Oh yes, this is an issue.