"Oh, he has autism? Doesn't that mean he's going to be really clever and super good at something?!"
"Does he have a special talent?"
If I had a pound for every time I had heard those statements and questions. Well.. I think I'd be pretty rich by now.
What people don't understand is that autism is a HUGE spectrum disorder.
The range between mild, severe and all the in between is massive.
The 'clever' people they talk about, with 'special talents' have what you'd call 'high functioning' autism. And people with this are usually only really good at something in particular because they struggle in other areas. So instead of struggling to do the thing they aren't so good at, their brains automatically focus on the thing they are good at, therefore they just get better and better at said subject.
I was recently out shopping with Aj when a lady asked and started quizzing me about my sons autism. She told me how her sister's son had autism, and in her words "he's what you call a high achiever though". Wow, well that was a bit of a kick in the gut. She probably didn't mean to come across as being so rude (well at least I hope not!) but what she said really hurt my feelings.
I tried to explain that we've been told our son will never be the 'high achiever', but then she just shrugged it off.
That's why I wish people knew more about autism.
Having the knowledge would prevent (well hopefully) hurtful, thoughtless comments like those.
When you see documentaries on the TV or stories on social media about autism, it's more or less always about individuals who are high functioning and have 'special talents'. I think this gives the wrong perception of autism as a whole, and people just seem to forget how much it can actually affect someone's life when your on the severe end of the scale.
Obviously I understand having any form of autism has an effect on your life, severe or not.. I just wish it was always the 'success' stories, for want of a better word, that get publicised! After all.. Awareness is acceptance!
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