This blog post is part of the This Is Autism FlashBlog in response to Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks statements made in her national call to action plan.where she so kindly told us all autism is
A burden to our families
Now individuals and families are speaking out! We want our voices heard! So....
What is Autism?
If you go for a technical definition autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting communication, both verbal, and nonverbal communication i.e the ability to read and produce body language, social skills/interactions and sensory processing and is accompanied by narrowed fixated interests, resistance to change and stereotyped behaviors that affects each person differently......... But what does that even mean?????? Well what it means for each person with autism is different. I am only one person with autism and here is what autism is for me.
Autism is seeing and experiencing the world differently from everyone else.
Autism is a life lived through my senses. Not merely just using them as a passing way to observe my surroundings, made sense only by a plethora of words and verbal communication but RATHER They ARE how I understand, communicate and navigate this world! Without needing words to do so. Both for the good and the bad!! They are the cause of frustration, pain, confusion and overload but also of joys, wonder, amazement and understanding.
Autism is experiencing pure overwhelming joy and happiness from certain smells,textures sights, and sounds but great pain confusion and overload from others.
Autism is a world of focus and intense passion for one specific thing, my special interest.
Autism is reading about, writing about drawing and experiencing my special interest.
Growing up it was relating to animals before people.
Autism is years of intensive early interventions, speech, occupational, play therapy, ABA ect learning to be like everyone else and learning to do things everyone else can do
Autism is struggling to communicate even a fraction of everything going on inside my mind.
Autism is Where words and verbalizing are tiring and draining,
Autism is working so hard to gain verbal skills only to find that those very same skills take from other more important skills like processing Vision and cause slower ore skewed sensory processing.
Autism is being able to formulate complex thoughts and ideas, being able to quote movies and understand complex ideas and concepts but not be able to tell you where the keys are in the house even though I can see visually in my mind.
Autism is sitting at the dining room table at a friends, family or of your fiancé not saying a word wishing to and trying to find some way to participate in the conversation.
Autism is working twice as hard as everyone else to do the things they take for granted everyday
Autism is needing a schedule and routine In order to be certain you remember all the basic self care things
Autism is needing visual schedules and picture charts as an adult
Autism is running out of the public restroom covering your ears form the hand dryers
Autism is crying yourself to sleep
Autism is not having your facial or vocal expression match your emotions or intent
Autism is not being able to find the words you need and not being able to get them out.
Autism is discovering that You communicate much better through your ipad using AAC apps and for the first time you can actually get out more of what's going on inside your head then you could ever do before!
Autism is fighting off public meltdowns and shutdowns when overwhelmed an overloaded
Autism is watching your nieces, nephews, cousins and friends grow up and out grow you.
Autism is never reaching some milestones and finding different ways if reaching others
Autism is missing out on subtle cues and misinterpreting peoples reactions and body language
Autism is being both hypo and hyper sensitive to your senses
Autism is intense strong emotions
Autism is tags being painful and sensitive to what clothes I wear
Autism is not knowing how to express or put words to those emotions
Autism is over stimulation an meltdowns
Autism is people constantly misinterpreting you
Autism is hating to see those you love or care about hurting or in pain but not knowing what to do or how to show you care.
Autism is becoming easily overwhelmed by things other people can do easily
Autism is not being able to describe what hurts or how to a doctor
Autism is not being able to tell your love ones when something bad happens or someone hurts you
Autism is having sensory issues
Autism is having anxiety
Autism is having intense and heightened senses
Autism is having organizations like autism $peak$ claim to speak for you while ignoring what you and others on the spectrum have to say. Claim to speak for you then tell the world you are financial, physical and mental burden that will destroy your family and use you to make money while promoting fear.
Autism is needing to break even the most basic things down into smaller steps
Autism is suddenly laughing or making a random sound, movement or saying something suddenly because you just processed something in your head that you are responding to
Autism is being overwhelmed by kids your age and not knowing how to interact with them
Autism is being overwhelmed in a crowd
Autism is being overloaded when people are to wordy
Autism is struggling when there are to many verbal directions.
Autism is thinking visually
Autism is sleeping under a 20lb blanket because it helps you wake up less and sleep through the night and is super comfy!!!
Autism is wearing the same outfit you wore yesterday because it feels softer then the fresher cleaner ones.
Autism is watching the sidewalk sparkle in the sunlight as you walk.
Autism is looking at a brick wall, checkerboard pattern on repeated tile patterns and seeing changing shapes and designs as you look at them
Autism is carrying around your favorite stuffed animal when your 14 and when your an adult
Autism is being 5 taking apart flashlight and pulling out the springs then putting it back together again.
Autism is dissecting flashlights and electronics into your adulthood
Autism is caring very deeply for friends and loved ones but forgetting to call or talk to them for long periods of time
Autism is getting so caught up in thought or in your own world you walk right into a street.
Autism is comfort in the repetitious and predictable.
Autism is 3 hour baths
Autism is being the child who never slept through the night and being the adult who still doesn't.
Autism is living in the moment
Autism is being detail oriented but being unable to organize or keep my room clean
Autism is watching the same movie over and over again
Autism is being a picky eater
Autism is randomly echoing the teacher in class
Autism is rocking, spinning, jumping had flapping to express emotions and to self regulate and regulate your senses.
Autism is stimming!!!
Autism is knowing your loved ones scent
Autism is curiosity
Autism is walking your own path
Autism is growing up with everyone trying to make you normal
Autism is trying so hard to please your parents and lived ones so you try to be normal and what you think they want even though it is exhausting and you get it all wrong anyways!
Autism is finally learning to accept yourself for who you are.
Autism is learning differently
Autism is loving your friends and family
Autism is never out growing your love of the swings, blowing bubbles in the park or going down the slide
Autism is imagination and creativity
Autism is loving water and swimming
Autism is being able to see and hear but needing a service dog to help guide you in crowds and alert you to specific sounds,
Autism is fighting to beat the odds
Autism is surpassing everyone's expectations
Autism is being fragile and resilient
Autism is determination
Autism is smelling, tasting, chewing and examining new objects
Autism is seeing the traffic cone with the orange light on it and tasting the flavor of an orange lollipop In your mouth
Autism is finding a sing that you love and get a strong feeling from and playing it over and over again until it fades
Autism is just being happy sitting next to someone you love and not needing to say a thing to have a good time
Autism is exploring
Autism is getting so into something you loose track of time me and forget to eat
Autism is needing deep pressure
Autism is prescripting interactions and conversations
Autism is Ned exta supports and assistance
Autism is loving a full life and thriving through love, patience, acceptance, understanding and having the right supports
Autism is energy
Autism is sensations through your body when you see christmas lights
Autism is smelling christmas lights
Autism is good and bad
Autism is love
Autism is trusting
Autism is being different
Autism is being human
Autism is complex an complicated
Autism is individualized
Autism is living