Monday, November 18, 2013

THIS is Autism (Jane Strauss)

Written by Jane Strauss

Originally published at her Facebook page

THIS is Autism

This is Autism:  marching to a different drummer, following your passions, never fitting in, except at a cost --and being a valuable member of society worthy of respect.

This is Autism:  Using your analytical skills to literally do what your job description for Organizational Board Member says you are supposed to do and constantly being at odds with the rest of the Board because your view is different.  Earning the "Ignore Me At Your Peril" Award, specially devised for you, from that same organization -- four years later.

This is Autism:  Failing the standardized hand-eye discrimination test.  Coming home and making 3-d line drawings of things you like.

This is Autism:  Receiving Mental Retardation and Related services as a preschooler because it is the 1980s and the US does not recognize Autism apart from Cognitive Impairment - let alone as a Spectrum - let alone in females. Being assessed for learning differences, dyslexia and dysgraphia --- and all the school psychologist wants to discuss is your extreme giftedness, which your parents had noticed long before.

This is Autism:  Being thought to be average because the school uses a drawing tool to assess creativity and your ability with a writing instrument is delayed.  Becoming an award-winning film maker and instructor as a teen and adult.

This is Autism:  Being slow to start reading, until you find something in which you are interested.  Reading thousands of pages of adult level material in a summer.  

This is Autism:  Not talking until past age three and having severe sensory integration issues.  Becoming the PCA, teacher, and Aide of choice for kids on spectrum because you understand what is happening and can act accordingly.

This is Autism:  Working with the public, full days, all week, with polite scripting and encyclopedic knowledge of the store in which you work.  Earning the highest level of customer service award  for your helpful, polite  and kind demeanor and genuine wish  to be helpful.  Being afraid to disclose because of fear your employer, a corporate supporter of Auti$m $peaks will discharge you because they think Autism is Something Else.


  1. This is an awesome story. It really hits home with me. I am not autistic. I have a 6 year old grandson who is. I was always sad for all he was missing as a little boy. But, one day a woman told me that when you have a child with autism, you must change the way you look at the world; and see it as my grandson sees it.

    What a Saint this woman was! She saved me and brought me into my grandson's world. I found myself laughing with him, dancing to Sesame Street music with him and having tickling contests among other things. I joined his world and wow, who ever knew it would be so much fun!
    He is a very intelligent little guy. But, he also does things his way..which in his world is the only way.
    I couldn't be prouder of him each and every day!
    Blessings and prayers to you.

  2. If you are looking for a trained dog then ASPCA course will help you in the cure of that individual on the autism spectrum. You just have to visit houlton institute. The organization take action as constant companions to children with autism to help them develop social interactions and associations, teach life skills, and boost awareness in activities and reduce stress within the family.