Monday, November 18, 2013

We are autism. And we will not be silenced.

Written by and originally published at Restless Hands

This is autism: “Ooh, stimmy!” used as an exclamation of excitement. Happy flaps at interesting patterns on the water, new colors on cars, math games, tricks of the light.
This is autism: Friends with special interests and special considerations. Trying to figure out what to cook when multiple autistic friends are over for dinner to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs and sensory sensitivities = a fun challenge!
This is autism: the kid I babysit puzzling out how to tell me something on his communication device– or relaxing in his hammock– clapping his hands at the park to hear the echos– his mischievous grin– his interesting ideas (waffles with mayo? OK, why not!)
This is autism: Struggling to find the words sometimes. Avoiding loud places. Being tired out by chatter, by things other people don’t even notice. Pride in finding the right words. Strength in doing the things I can. Joy in spending time with a small group of friends.
This is autism: learning new things every day. Not a puzzle, but a journey of life, in constant flux, unfolding like a flower, full of new things to discover like a starry sky, full of complexity and hope and wonder.
We are autism. And we will not be silenced.

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