THIS is Autism
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.