I can see that confused look when someone speaks to you and you are desperately trying to process the language.

I watch you smiling and nodding at all the right moments and I know that inside your brain is working overtime trying to work out if they are even talking to you, talking about you, or even talking at all. 

It's all a jumble. You think no-one sees but I do.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I see the anxiety when you have to come out of your routine even though you smile and act like everything is fine.

I see your fingers stroke your hair nervously as you walk into a new building or get onto public transport.

I can hear your heart beating fast though you try breathing normally praying no-one can see the sweat drops on your forehead. Some see a little anxiety in you and think maybe you are just a little nervous. 

But I know.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I see the ornaments placed just 'so', the cushions on your sofa all facing the same way, the curtains at your window sitting exactly how they should be. I know the comfort you find in this.

I watch as you only ever sit at the same seat at the dining table because the sun shining in annoys your eyes otherwise.

I understand that there is only one pencil or pen that feels just right to write with even though to others there are many just the same.

Some see OCD tendencies and think you are a little quirky perhaps and fussy. You are not. 

I know.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I watch you jump when the phone rings even though it is right in front of you. I see the panic in your eyes at the thought of having to form words to reply to the caller.

I see you scan that number in your memory wondering if you can simply ignore. I know your hands are sweating and your pulse racing even though the number is that of someone familiar.

Your mind is franticly trying to remember the simple everyday small talk that comes effortlessly to others but to you it requires so much thought and processing. I know how hard this is.

This is not social anxiety or fear of people. This is much more.

I get it.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I see you biting your lip and moving nearer as the group with you chit chat. I see you looking into the distance feeling so uncomfortable and stressed.

You observe what every other person is doing and try to mimic. You dread them asking your opinion because you can hardly keep up with the voices swirling round your head so fast.

You like the less social activities with rules, turn taking or no need for language like the cinema and bowling but this standing around talking confuses you so much.

I know you are lost in your head and bewildered at why they are all laughing.

You think they must be laughing at you so you check your body for blemishes and your clothes to ensure they are all still on and fastened.

You are trying; trying so much harder than anyone else to fit in. I know that. 

I am proud of you.

You are not misunderstood to me. I see your autism.

I know you struggle to drive when the radio is on in the car. It distracts you so much because you prefer to focus on just one thing at a time.

I know you have to finish one thing before moving on like waiting until a programme on TV is completely finished before using the bathroom or putting the kettle on.

I know you struggle at school and college and work with the constant demands placed upon you and the moving from one place to another. I know that makes you panic so much.

I admire the strategies you have put in place to calm yourself and blend in. You are doing so well.

But still I see you. I see your autism. 

I see your autism because I have a daughter just like you. She is not misunderstood to me and neither are you. You amaze me. You give me hope.

I see beyond your autism and I see you.

Can I tell you what I see? What I see is someone beautiful, wonderful and lovely. Don't hide your autism my friend. 

I understand you and you are perfect to me.

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