After posting about National Autistic Awareness Day, I started thinking. I’m not sure if Alyssa’s autism is an official diagnosis or more of an observation of certain tendencies over time. Either way, I’ve always known somewhere in the background that she has autistic tendencies.
Some of those tendencies are hilarious. Most of them seem random. All of them are uniquely her. Until you start to realize they are actually uniquely autistic.
Alyssa is obsessed with string, usually coupled with a fascination for scissors. The result is thousands of tiny pieces of string strewn around the house. She is also addicted to movies, watching them for hours and hours and hours and… yeah.
Autistic individuals “may become unusually fixated an object for hours.”*
Alyssa says things completely out of context. Such as “Ohh, you look so UGLY today!”
Autism means a person may “not understand the emotions of others and may react inappropriately to certain situations.”*
Alyssa adores airplanes, but can’t stand the loud noises they make.
Autistic people often have hyper-sensitive senses, making them particularly vulnerable to loud sounds, bright lights, etc.
Alyssa tends to have tantrums in grocery stores. And libraries. And gas stations. And…
Autistic symptoms often include “frequent tantrums with no obvious trigger.”*
Alyssa needs routine. Change is bad.
Autism means individuals “need strict routine and get irrationally upset about routine changes.”*
I thought these things were just uniquely Alyssa and didn’t know why these things happened or see any sort of connection between them.
That is, until I read “Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew.”
This article quite literally changed my life. Or, at least, it changed the way I interacted with Alyssa and viewed others who had autism. I highly, highly, highly recommend it for anyone who knows anyone with autism. (Which is probably just about every person who stumbles across this blog).
Stay tuned, because I’ll probably be talking more about each of those “Ten Things” in the near future.
*Quotes in this blog post taken from Autism.LovetoKnow.com