Monday, 18 November 2013

This Is Autism

There is a Flashblog today to counter Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks blog post last week 
My post for the This Is Autism Flashblog:
Autism is loving, supportive families.  We are a family of three, all on the spectrum.  Sometimes we really frustrate each other, especially with contrasting stims but what family doesn’t?  Autism has not destroyed our family and resulted in divorce. 

My autistic daughter is not a burden.  She has needed lots of extra support along the way but that is what parents are supposed to do whether their child is disabled or not.  It is a parenting thing. 
Autism is funny, loving, creative, and entertaining.  My daughter likes to make up jokes, sing, dance, and horseback ride.  One joke she made up when she was young was: Why does mommy have Asperger’s?because she ate too many burgers!  She thought it was the funniest thing, and it was.

Autism is a different way of communicating and interacting.  Sometimes we need to write our words because we can’t say them.  We don’t feel the need for small talk.  We might say things a little differently.
Autism is stimming and intense interests.  These may be good or bad depending on whether you can be injured or not.  Most are harmless.  I have certain rhymes or words that I say over and over.  My stimming is usually anxiety related but some autistics do it when they are happy.  It can mean different things at different times for different people.

Autism is also frustration and anxiety.   I have severe anxiety partly due to not getting the supports I have needed throughout my life.  I get frustrated with not being able to do the things that come so easily to other people.
Autism can be loneliness especially when organizations, like Autism Speaks, make people fear us.

Autism is a community.  I have made many on-line friends who I would never have met in real life. They get it.
Autism is good and bad.  We do have bad parts of autism in our family.  Our daughter has had issues with aggression-verbal and physical, and safety.  It took many years but we figured out the aggression is all related to anxiety.  The anxiety is related to sensory and other issues- the main one being school.  She has been in a new school and very supportive class the past two years and things have improved for her and therefore us immensely.  She is much happier and has had no school refusals this year.  There are still safety issues and she cannot be left home alone yet.  Just because she can’t be left now at 13 does not mean that it will never happen.   It will happen when it is the right time for her.

Autism is about getting the right supports for each individual person.
Autism is not what Suzanne Wright thinks it is.  Autistics are not to be feared.  Yes, we need support, jobs, housing.  We do not need to be warehoused somewhere away from people who don’t have autism.

Autism is different for every family from non-verbal to verbal and every other variation.
Autism is adults and children.

Autism is a way of life that is different for every autistic person.  Every person's autism needs to be respected no matter where on the spectrum they fall.
This was a post about my autistic family.  Yours is probably different just like every family is different.  Different isn’t bad.  It just is. 
Micah (age 6) and I, with our service dog Dexter, almost 7 years ago.