I think one of the hardest parts of a parent’s journey to help their child is being told that their child has autism, being handed some printouts, and then being shown the door. You go out and get some books, but the books are about nonverbal children and your child talks. Or they are about low-functioning autism and your child has high-functioning autism. Or you hear examples about what to do when your child cannot handle loud places, but your child has trouble with colorful places. And this is from someone who is living with and raising someone with autism. How much more difficult is it for someone who doesn’t have autism in their life everyday? How are they supposed to understand what autism spectrum disorder is?
I usually talk about what autism means for my life and Tyler’s life on more of a life-lesson basis (mainly my life lessons). I think educational posts about autism should be something that I do, but if you are like me, you go to the educational sources to gather information, your brain starts to get overloaded very quickly, the information stops being helpful, and becomes confusing instead. So I thought I would come up with my own visual cues that, when posted individually, hopefully would be an easy and informative way to learn more about autism. The image is hard to read while embedded in the post, but if you click on it, the image will appear alone and is very readable.
Not all the examples in the image will apply to every autistic person, but they hopefully will give you an idea of the differences between how an autistic person thinks and how you might think. They call it autism spectrum disorder, but really this is just about a group of people who see, feel, hear, taste, and touch the world in a different way.
A brightly burning candle is harder to look at, but it shines further into the darkness…into the part of our existence we normally would never be able to see.
From my heart,
(c) Rachel Flinchum 7/19/2013