But she doesnt look Autistic?
Trying to find the words, trying to put things into words is one of the hardest things Ive ever had to do. I know what I want to say, I am screaming on the inside, I feel so strongly, I have so much to share. But when I start im Blank. A million things running through my mind at the same time.
Autism. ASD. Autistic.
Yes thats right
As some of you may or may not know autism is a spectrum disorder that effects 1 in 65? (Although i heard its now increased to 1 in 45) yes its a disorder that although may share similar traits or behaviours it effects everyone so differently. Just because one child hates or struggles with something doesnt mean another will.
Its not a big scarey word we should be scared to say out loud. Its a label, it wont define them but its a label given to these children, our children, brothers, sisters, friends- to help get them the understanding & support they need and deserve.
The most common comment I get when and if I mention that my daughter is on the autism spectrum is “but she doesnt look autistic?” “But shes so cute” Or even “oh i cant tell theres something wrong with her” well, thats because there isnt, there is nothing wrong with her, she just does things a little different, shes wired different, and thats not wrong thats okay. We dont need anyone telling us they’re sorry, we dont need anyone’s pitty. Im not sorry, I dont wish her to be anyone other then who she is.
I recently read something that went a little like this... what does autism look like to you” Stop & think for a minute. What does autism actually look like to you? Does it look like a monster? Something scarey? A horrible mean person? Inhumane? No... no... & No.
A person with autism is just like anyone else, regardless of seeing, feeling or doing things differently theyre human. Just like you & I.
What does Autism look like to me? It looks like a beautiful brown eyed -curly haired 2 year old, who laughs very loudly and will stop what shes doing anywhere anytime to just jump on the spot. It looks like a little girl who doesnt acknowledge strangers and if she doesnt know you will quite happily pretend you dont exist.
It looks like a little girl who loves the taste of so many foods but doesnt know what to do with them, or cant understand that she can eat them. It looks like a little girl who hasnt yet found her voice but wants so much to be heard, to be understood. It looks like 10-20 hours of therapy to get the support she needs. It looks like a two year old who hasnt mastered potty training and still drinks from a bottle. It looks like Amani. Autism looks like Amani. It does not define her, it is not all that she is. But it looks like Amani.
It looks like so many things, and like everything it has its ups, and its downs. Its good days and its bad days. But it is not some disease that needs a cure. Its just different. Autism has taught me so much, has broken me, has glued me back together so much stronger then I was and opened my eyes to a whole new world.
Some people will stay in your life , some will leave. Not everyone will understand and there will be people who judge you, judge your child. And thats okay, with each day, each struggle and each acomplishment you grow thicker skin. You become stronger, you learn to live your new normal. Were all a little weird here, but we wouldnt have it any other way.
It shouldnt be so hard, and it doesnt have to be. A little understanding and awareness goes a long way. This world is beautiful because we are all different. What is normal anyway?